Anchee Min is a Chinese American author, painter, photographer and musician who was born in Shanghai in 1957. She grew up in the China of Mao Zedong and emigrated to the United States in 1984. She lives in California. She has written several books, including Red Azalea, a memoir of her youth, and Becoming Madame Mao, a lyrical and visionary fictionalized biography of Mao's wife, Jiang Qing.
Like many young people in China at the time she grew up, Anchee as a girl was a staunch supporter of Mao's Communist Party. She was a leader of the Little Red Guards, a group of elementary school students who were a younger faction of the Red Guards who wreaked such havoc in China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Later, she was chosen for the lead role in one of Jiang Qing's revolutionary operatic movies, but before the movie could be completed Mao died and Jiang Qing lost her power base, so the whole project was scrapped. Some years later, with the aid of her friend Joan Chen, Anchee emigrated to America. Although she spoke little English, within a few years she published Red Azalea, and in 1990 she earned a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago. Anchee Min is clearly an intelligent and accomplished woman, and her books make fine reading.
There's an interesting interview with Anchee at