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Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
Published by Harper Collins 1991

Wild Swans is the gripping memoir of three generations of women in a family in 20th century China. In addition to offering a remarkable insight into the making of modern China and of the impact of Mao’s policies on millions of Chinese people, this book is also an engrossing family saga. Chang’s grandmother had her feet bound as a child and was sold as a concubine to a warlord. Her parents were passionate, committed supporters of Mao who rose to prominent positions in the Communist party. Chang herself was reared to revere Mao until her parents were denounced during the Cultural Revolution and, sent to work as a “barefoot doctor”, she saw at first hand the oppressive, inhuman side of Communism. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving – and ultimately uplifting – detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history.

‘If you care at all about the history of China in the twentieth century – or even if you don’t, come to think of it – Wild Swans is riveting. This is calm and measured history, but it reads like a bestseller. You can’t, as they say, put it down’ Carolyn See, New York Newsday

‘It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this book’ Mary Wesley

Wild Swans has stayed in my mind all year. Quite unforgettable’ Michael Ignatieff, Times Literary Supplement

‘An extraordinary story, popular history at its most compelling’ Lucy Hughes-Hallet, Independent

‘An evocative, often astonishing view of life in a changing China’ The New York Times

‘Immensely moving and unsettling; an unforgettable portrait of the brain-death of a nation’ J. G. Ballard, Sunday Times

Jung Chang was born in Yibin, Sichuan Province, China and now lives in London. Wild Swans has been translated into thirty languages and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

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