Liu Hong was born in 1965 and grew up in the north-eastern province of Liaoning, near the Chinese-North Korean border. She studied English language and literature, before going to Beijing to work as an English teacher and translator. She came to Britain on an academic scholarship in 1989, and took an MA in social anthropology at Oxford. Since then she has worked as a Chinese teacher and as a translator. Liu Hong now lives in Wiltshire with her husband and their young daughter.