In Wild Swans
Jung Chang recounts the evocative, unsettling, and insistently gripping story of how three generations of women in her family fared in the political maelstrom of China during the 20th century. Chang's grandmother was a warlord's concubine. Her gently raised mother struggled with hardships in the early days of Mao's revolution and rose, like her husband, to a prominent position in the Communist Party before being denounced during the Cultural Revolution. Chang herself marched, worked, and breathed for Mao until doubt crept in over the excesses of his policies and purges. Born just a few decades apart, their lives overlap with the end of the warlords' regime and overthrow of the Japanese occupation, violent struggles between the Kuomintang and the Communists to carve up China, and, most poignant for the author, the vicious cycle of purges orchestrated by Chairman Mao that discredited and crushed millions of people, including her parents.
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Carolyn See Newsday Wild Swans
is riveting. It's blindingly good: a mad adventure story, a fairy tale of courage, and a tale of atrocities. You can't, as they say, put it down.The New Yorker
Her family chronicle resembles a popular novel that stars strong, beautiful women and provides cameo roles for famous men....But Wild Swans
is no romance. It's a story...about the survival of a Chinese family through a century of disaster.Time
A mesmerizing memoir.
"An inspiring tale of women who survived every kind of hardship, deprivation and political upheaval with their humanity intact." --Hillary Clinton, O, The Oprah Magazine
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