Lily Yang has lived a life most women could never imagine. Alone and still young after her parents died, her life has been a journey across time and space and cultures, about discovering the world and her place in it, being taught by life itself, the hardest teacher of all.
As a child, she grew up with story-tellers, especially her beloved father and Auntie, a “hutch-mother” of sorts in a bitterly cold Jilin village where she spent her early years, exiled with her parents during Mao’s purges.
Added to these were the more personally experienced stories spawned from the Cultural Revolution, more fantastic in their own way because those ghosts exist in her memory and in two generations of Chinese people. Together, the ancient and modern stories are an almost unbroken line of phantoms, night-terrors, iconic beings and divinities which still govern the lives and beliefs of hundreds of millions of Chinese. These have helped shape her remarkable ability to paint pictures with words in her own storytelling
Lily Yang is also fast becoming one of the most iconic and compelling women in the Australian sex industry. Not since Madam Brussels strutted her stuff in “Little Lon” more than 100 years ago has any “magnificent madam” emerged as a persuasive voice for her industry, speaking out in her blogs to influence the way people think about her choice of lifestyle. Along the way she has shown us a few dance moves: opening The Sunlight Foundation for her own charitable and philanthropic activities for one, as she was not deemed an acceptable benefactor to established charities unless she hid her name away from the public gaze. Lily believes in the power of what money and dedication can do, not where money comes from, when the plight of so many unfortunate children, trafficked into sex work, is at stake. Lily personally supports “Seyla”, a Cambodian child victim of trafficking, providing her with education and financial aid so she can rebuild her life. Seyla wants to be a writer, like “her mom”, Lily.
In her memoir, a book of mesmerising storytelling, Lily invites readers to look over her shoulder and into her world as she chronicles the experiences that have shaped her choices. With her gift for humour and honesty, she describes her triumphs and her tragedies, telling the story of her life as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.
Lily lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she is married to, as she quips, ‘an extremely lucky fellow’, and lives with her beautiful grown-up daughter and two adored “doggies.” Lily is also a published author, social commentator and popular blogger.