Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 20, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 544 pages
The story of three generations in twentieth-century China that blends the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history—a bestselling classic in thirty languages with more than ten million copies sold around the world, now with a new introduction from the author.

An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot doctor,” a steelworker, and an electrician. 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PilgrimJess - LibraryThing

"as the revolution was made by human beings, it was burdened with their failings." Wild Swans is a memoir of three generations of author Jung Chang’s family, principally the lives of her grandmother ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

This is an epic personal story of life in China over much of the 20th century, told through the stories of three generations of women in one family. The author has lived in Britain since becoming one ... Read full review

Contents

Even Plain Cold Water Is Sweet
25
They All Say What a Happy Place
46
Slaves Who Have No Country
60
Daughter for Sale for 10 Kilos of Rice
80
Talking About Love
103
Going Through the Five Mountain Passes
130
When a Man Gets Power Even His
163
Suffering Will Make You a Better Communist
186
Do You Want Our Children to
303
Where There Is a Will to Condemn
331
Giving Charcoal in Snow
373
Thought Reform Through Labor
392
The More Books You Read the More
422
Please Accept My Apologies That Come
447
The Fragrance of Sweet Wind
463
Sniffing after Foreigners Farts and Calling
478

After the AntiRightist Campaign
200
Capable Women Can Make a Meal
218
ThousandGold Little Precious
240
Father Is Close Mother Is Close
257
Destroy First and Construction Will
276
If This Is Paradise What Then Is Hell?
496
Fighting to Take Wing 19761978
517
Epilogue
529
Index
547
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About the author (2008)

Jung Chang was born in Yibin, Sichuan Province, China, in 1952. She left China for Britain in 1978 and obtained a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of York in 1982, the first person from the People’s Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British university. She lives in London with her husband, Jon Halliday, with whom she wrote Mao: The Unknown Story.

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