Diane is a Florida born-and-raised author/scholar. She is the author of the Silk Road Series: The Heirs of Genghis Khan. The empire was vast and the story is unique. This series features five books of narrative history about the heirs and successors of Genghis Khan. Each personality has a book, and the five books taken together, form the vast story. She is a candidate for the 2024 Public Scholar Grant of the National Endowment for the Humanities for the last book in the series, Il-Khan: Why Hulegu Khan Destroyed the Assassins and the Caliphate.
Her standalone book, Fish Shoes: A Palace Drama was nominated for the 2022 Buchanan Prize of the Association for Asian Studies and The Khan's Mistake: The Fight for Genghis Khan's Throne is a nominee for the 2023 Freeman Book Prize of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.
In September of 2022, Diane appeared at the Harriman Institute, the Russian Studies Institute at Columbia University on a panel with award-winning director Rachid Nougmanove a screening of his documentary about Batu Khan, in which she appeared. She was on the panel for her book Batu, Khan of the Golden Horde: The Mongol Khans Conquer Russia.
In 2010, she published Tibet Unconquered, a groundbreaking work on China and Tibet, with an introduction by Robert Thurman, the foremost scholar in the U. S. on Tibetan Buddhism. Diane was invited to give the Bishop White Lecture at the Royal Ontario Museum on the occasion of the publication of this book. The room sold out in two weeks.
In February of 2018, Diane did a reading from her book An Offer He Couldn't Refuse: A Man of Letters in a Military Government at the 12th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL MONGOLIAN STUDIES CONFERENCE, sponsored by the Mongolian Cultural Center, at the Embassy of Mongolia in Washington, D. C.
In February of 2015, Diane was featured on a panel on the Cold War and Spy Fiction at Sleuthfest, the annual event of the Florida Branch of the Mystery Writers of America. The podcast with the map is available on the Events page of this website. The subject is the Cold War in Asia and China's view of its international relations, as relates to Tibet and Xinjiang, its major minority regions where human rights abuses have taken place for decades.
Wolff is the author of two books and numerous articles on Chinese culture and language. Her previous work Chinese Writing: An Introduction, about Chinese calligraphy won an American Library Association Most Notable Book Award in the year of its publication.
Diane has an interdisciplinary degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University, with a special emphasis on Chinese History (and a minor in Japanese History).
She has done post-graduate work at Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley and was tutored in Japanese at the Stanford Inter-University Center in Tokyo. She has traveled widely in the Far East.
Her areas of expertise include visual arts, film, architecture, cuisine, design and textiles/fashion, philosophy and intellectual history, history of Buddhism,
She lived in Tokyo for a year where she studied Japanese language and pursued independent study in art, film, theater, architecture, culture, furniture, design, food and philosophy. Her mentor and guide in getting to know Japanese culture was the great film critic, Donald Ritchie. Diane is fond of Kabuki and spent many afternoons going to matinees where she saw in performance the great Tamasaburo.
From 2000 to 2006, her column, focusing on the historical backdrop to current events appeared in the Orlando Sentinel and went out over the Knight Ridder wire.
In 2000-2001, she was the Associate Online Editor of sun-herald.com, the Charlotte Sun-Herald electronic edition. She was also the editor of a comic serialized novel Gone With The Gator, created with twenty chapters from writers on the paper.
She has published in New York Times, the NYT Book Review, the Orlando Sentinel, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the San Jose Mercury-News, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. She was a contributing editor of the magazine New Asia Review. She wrote theater reviews for the Village Voice and was the editor of Preview, the magazine of the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco in the 1980s.
An avid follower of new media and new technology, she wrote about China and the Internet in National Interest, was a contributor to the online news service China News Digest, and has reviewed Chinese and Japanese language learning software for Multi-lingual: The Magazine for Language Technology.
In the eighties, Diane was involved in cultural diplomacy with the Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China. She was a member of then Mayor Dianne Feinstein’s Cultural Delegation from San Francisco to the sister city of Shanghai where she worked on arts exchange in music, painting and dance. In the mid-1990s, she was the West Coast organizer for a group of professional women from China who were touring the United States.
Diane was an associate producer on for television, working on the Sunday Magazine Show of the ABC affiliate, KRON-TV where she reported on the arts. She has also worked in radio, appearing on shows in New York, San Francisco, and the West Coast of Florida.
A winner of a Fulbright fellowship to study advanced Chinese while at Columbia, she is a member of the Author's Guild, the American Center for Mongolian Studies, PEN, the American Society of Authors and Journalists, the Asia Society and the Association for Asian Studies. She lives on the West Coast of Florida.