Jan Wong


Jan Wong divides her time between Toronto and Fredericton, N.B., where she is a professor of journalism at St. Thomas University. A third-generation Montrealer, in 1972 Jan became one of the first two Westerners to study in China during the Cultural Revolution. In 1979, she became the first news assistant in Beijing for the New York Times.

She is the author of six non-fiction books. Her latest is Apron Strings: Navigating Food and Family in France, Italy and China. Her first, Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now, was named one of Time magazine’s top ten books of 1996 and remains banned in China. Her other four books are Lunch With: Sweet and Sour Celebrity Interviews; Jan Wong’s China: Reports from a Not-So-Foreign Correspondent; Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found; and Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness.

Jan is a graduate of McGill University, Peking University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in business reporting. She has worked as a business reporter for the Montreal Gazette, the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal. From 1988 to 1994, she was the Globe and Mail’s much-acclaimed China correspondent and covered the 1989 massacre in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. For six years, she interviewed celebrities for her popular “Lunch With” column.

Jan is a recipient of the George Polk Award for her Boston Globe Spotlight Team investigation of a money-laundering scandal at New England banks. In Canada, her honors include a National Newspaper Award in Canada for her China reporting; a 2011 National Magazine Awards silver medal for column writing; and the Daily Bread Food Bank Public Education Award for her undercover series working as a maid.

Visit Jan’s website at

***ATTN BLUE PENCIL ATTENDEES: Jan tells us she’s tough and blunt.***