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.