Lijia Zhang worked as a teenager in a factory producing missiles designed to reach North America, queuing every month tog ive evidence to the 'period police' that she wasn't pregnant. In the oppressive routine of guarded compounds and political meetings, Zhang grew disillusioned with 'The Glorious Cause' and set out to learn English. She flaunted her intellectual independence from wearing bright, Western style clothes to organizing the largest demonstration by Nanjing workers in support of Tiananmen Square protest in 1989. By narrating the changes in her own life, Zhang chronicles the momentous shift in China's economic policy: her factory, still an ICBM manufacturer, won the bid to cast a giant Bronze Buddha as the whole country went crazy for profit. Socialism is great! Is a testament to Zhang's personal triumph over the controlled existence that was supposed to be her destiny.
Lijia Zhang was born in Nanjing, China in 1964. Educated both in China and the UK, she currently lives in Beijing with her two daughters and works as a freelance journalist.