Born in Xinjiang in 1979, Li Juan grew up in Sichuan Province. In her youth, she learned to sew and run a small convenience store with her mother, living in a town where nomads shopped. Later, she worked in a factory in the city of Urumqi. In 2003, she became a public servant until 2008 when she became a full time author. Her writing career began in 1999, as a columnist for newspapers like Southern Weekly and Hong Kong's Wenweipo. Widely regarded as one of the best narrative nonfiction writers of her generation, Li Juan's writing has won several awards. WINTER PASTURE is considered to be her most popular and representative work.
"Near the end of Winter Pasture Li Juan asks herself what it means to be "a passerby" in the lives of others. Her intimate depiction of a family of Kazakh herders is itself an answer to that complicated travel writer question: to connect the reader with people and stories she likely otherwise would never encounter. In doing so, Li Juan is an empathetic, interrogative, and entertaining chronicler. She offers up a fascinating portrait of life in one of the world's most remote corners." - Rachel Friedman, author of The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure and And Then We Grew Up: On Creativity, Potential, and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood