A new edition of one of the best-selling and best-loved books of recent years, with a new introduction by the author. The publication of Wild Swans in 1991 was a worldwide phenomenon. Not only did it become the best-selling non-fiction book in British publishing history, with sales of well over two million, it was received with unanimous critical acclaim, and was named the winner of the 1992 NCR Book Award and the 1993 British Book of the Year Award. Few books have ever had such an impact on their readers. Through the story of three generations of women -- grandmother, mother and daughter -- Wild Swans tells nothing less than the whole tumultuous history of China's tragic twentieth century, from sword-bearing warlords to Chairman Mao, from the Manchu Empire to the Cultural Revolution. At times terrifying, at times astonishing, always deeply moving, Wild Swans is a book in a million, a true story with all the passion and grandeur of a great novel. For this new edition, Jung Chang has written a new introduction, bringing her own story up to date, and describing the effect Wild Swans' success has had on her life.
About the Author
Jung Chang was born in Yibin, Sichuan Province, China, in 1952. She was briefly a Red Guard at the age of fourteen, and then a peasant, a 'barefoot doctor', a steelworker and an electrician. She came to Britain in 1978, and in 1982 became the first person from the People's Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British university. She lives in London.
'It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this book' Mary Wesley 'Everything about Wild Swans is extraordinary. It arouses all the emotions, such as pity and terror, that great tragedy is supposed to evoke, and also a complex mixture of admiration, despair and delight at seeing a luminous intelligence directed at the heart of darkness' Minette Marrin, Sunday Telegraph 'Immensely moving and unsettling; an unforgettable portrait of the brain-death of a nation' J.G. Ballard, Sunday Times 'Wild Swans made me feel like a five-year-old. This is a family memoir that has the breadth of the most enduring social history' Martin Amis, Independent on Sunday 'There has never been a book like this' Edward Behr, Los Angeles Times
I read Wild Swans about fifteen years back and have since lived in China and married a beautiful Chinese. Now living in Australia, I thought it might be a good read for my wife. It very revealing for her because even today Chinese don't speak much about the "cultural revolution".
I like the way Wild Swans covers 3 generations and how it moves from concubines and feudal times to Communism and the Cultural Revolution and finally to her freedom in the UK. The torture is very disturbing and Orwellian to the extreme.
Fabulous read. Jung tells the story in such a way that the history remains a fasinating read, without it becoming too complicated. So much happens in the time of the communist revolution that one could get lost, but Jung keeps you on track. She writes in an easy fluid way. A wonderful read, not to be missed...and I am sure this book will be one of your re-reads!
a look into the lives of three generation of Chinese women, from pre-Mao to civil war within china. Jung Chang writes about the biographicaland autobiographical stories of her mother and grandmother and herself. Her grandmother survived becoming a concubine to a general, then finally finding love with a doctor btu being rejected by his family, to becoming poor as dirt. This is an amazing insight into what people had to suffer through during the times of Mao and the wways he tried to brainwash and control people which claiming to be a communist.
a really excellent book. Not for the faint hearted, it is full of tragedy and is quite confronting at times. The three generations approach provides a great look into the impact of communism over time in china. A great story of survival and very moving, it was difficult to put down in some sections.
An engrossing read that incorporates the stories of 3 generations of women & sets it against the backdrop of important events in Chinese history. Fascinating and enthralling (& also educational!) their stories will stay with you long after you put the book down. Enjoy!
One of the most inspiring, enlightening and important books I have ever read. Jung Chang takes us back to China pre-Mao and pre Cultural revolution, and we then journey with her family through some of China's biggest social and political changes. This book is written in such a personal style, that you begin to feel as if Jung Chang's family is your family, and their story is yours. This is one of the best books I have ever read.
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