About the author

Between 2004 and 2006, Chang spent a week or two of every month among factory workers in the South China city of Dongguan. In Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China (Random House, 2008), Chang follows the lives of two young women as they attempt to rise from the assembly lines, while also interweaving the story of her own family’s migrations, within China and to the West. Factory Girls was named a New York Times Notable Book and has been translated into ten languages. Chang is a recipient of the PEN USA Literary Award, the Asian American Literary Award, the Tiziano Terzani International Literary Prize, the Quality Paperback Book Club New Visions Award, and the Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship.

In 2011, Chang moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she explored the lives of the country's working women. Egyptian Made: Women, Work, and the Promise of Liberation (Random House, 2024)follows three women who work in Egypt’s garment industry over two years. Alongside these stories, she shares her own experiences living in the country for five years and weaves in the history of Egypt’s vaunted textile industry, its changing interpretations of Islam, and how factors from dramatic swings in economic policy to conservative marriage expectations and a failing education system all shape the country today and the choices available to women.

Previously, Chang lived in China for a decade as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, specializing in stories that explored how socioeconomic change was transforming institutions and individuals. She has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and National Geographic.

A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in American History and Literature, Chang has also worked as a journalist in the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. She was raised outside New York City by immigrant parents who gave her an unusual degree of freedom to make her own choices in the world, for which she is grateful.

She and her husband, writer Peter Hessler, live in southwestern Colorado with their twin daughters.

Author's photo