Madeleine O'Dea is a writer and journalist who has been covering the political, economic, and cultural life of China for the past three decades. She worked for five years with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra before entering journalism as the Beijing correspondent for The Australian Financial Review in the late 1980s. She covered China throughout the 1990s as a producer with ABC Television. In 2004 she moved to Beijing and took up a position as a presenter and editor with China Radio International and later served as the arts editor for the magazine, the Beijinger. In 2010 she became the founding editor-in-chief of ARTINFO China and the Asia correspondent for Art+Auction and Modern Painters magazines. She now lives in Sydney.
Amidst all the chatter about China lies this rock of a book, a magnificent memoir/ history from the very core of modern Chinese society and history. It's a wonderful thing where the essential book and the delightful book are, as in this case, the one thing. Let no one speak of China who has not read The Phoenix Years. -- Tom Keneally