Fan Wu was born on a state-run farm in mainland China, where her parents were exiled during the Cultural Revolution. Despite poverty and isolation, the farm provided her with boundless freedom and joy. In 1985, her parents left the farm, bringing her four older brothers and her with them, and settled in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi Province.In the mid-90s, after graduating with a bachelor's degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Sun Yat-Sen University, she went to work in Shenzhen, the first Special Economy Zone in China, transformed from a fishing village to a bustling metropolis in ten years. During her three years there, she held varied jobs and traveled extensively, witnessing the unprecedented economic boom, as well as the cruel exploitation of workers from poor provinces and the countryside. A society torn between tradition and modernity, was how she began to view her birth country. Some of her experiences at that time later became the basis for her first novel.