Jiang Zilong was born into a peasant family in 1941 in Cangzhou, Hebei Province. His first story "Watermelon Is Ripe" was published in 1960. That year he went into service and was enrolled into the Naval Institute for Mapmaking. He was demobilized from the Navy in 1965 and went to work in the Tianjin Heavy Machinery Plant. The Cultural Revolution broke out and he had to lay aside creative writing for almost 10 years. He began publishing again in 1976. In 1979, with the publication of his short story "Manager Oiao Assumes Office," Jiang Zilong achieved nationwide popularity and won the National Literary Prize for Best Short Stories. He continued to publish and win important national literary prizes, and most of these works have been adapted into films or TV plays and translated into foreign languages. His most recent novels are Popularity and Inanition. He is the vice-chair of the Chinese Writers' Association and chair of the Tianjin Writers' Association.