Ding Xiaoqi was born in Shenyang, China in 1959. At age nine, she was separated from her parents, who were sent down to the countryside for re-education during the Cultural Revolution. She grew up alone in an empty apartment full of books. Ding Xiaoqi was a performer in the People’s Liberation Army Art Academy. During this time, her songs, poetry, film-scripts, and plays won many awards. The stories in Maidenhome are the first available in English anywhere in the world. In 1990, she was appointed a Visiting Fellow in the Cinema Studies Division of La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Two of her plays, “The Gate to Paradise” and “Kiss Yesterday Goodbye” have since been produced. With Ouyang Yu, she co-founded Otherland, Australia’s first Chinese-language literary journal.