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Jan Wong

CKUA's south towerFor six years, Jan Wong was The Globe and Mail's Beijing correspondent. A Canadian of Chinese descent, Wong went to China in 1972 at the height of the Cultural Revolution. In 1997, she published Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, a memoir of her student days - she was the second Westerner to attend Beijing University - and a chronicle of her journalistic tenure in Beijing from 1988-94. She would write on China again in 1999 in Jan Wong's China: Reports From a Not-So-Foreign Correspondent.

In Red China Blues, Wong describes how an interest in feminism originally moved her in the direction of Maoism and Communism. Gradually, however, as Mao and his successors diluted the Maoist ideology, her views changed and she became disgusted with the culture and way of life, and returned home. Her next encounter with China would be as a journalist.

 Featured Audio

Speaker of the Week #43
In this episode of Speaker of the Week, broadcast
June 28, 1999, Jan Wong discusses the importance
of identity at the Famous Five Foundation Luncheon
in Calgary

Listen Now!



Following her return to Toronto, Wong's next assignment with The Globe and Mail was as a weekly columnist who took her subjects to lunch and then wrote about the meal … and them as dining partners. But far from being the noon-hour trough-feeding of a socialite, Wong's "Lunch With" work was pointed and often critical of her tablemates, who included author Margaret Atwood, actors John Hurt and Anthony Quinn, fashion reporter Jeanne Beker and rock star Bryan Adams, among many, many others. This, too, resulted in a book, Lunch with Jan Wong in 2000.

After a six-year run, her column was discontinued in 2002. Today Wong writes features for The Globe and Mail, as well as Report On Business magazine.

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