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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bursting with drama, heartbreak and horror, this extraordinary family portrait mirrors China's century of turbulence. Chang's grandmother, Yu-fang, had her feet bound at age two and in 1924 was sold as a concubine to Beijing's police chief. Yu-fang escaped slavery in a brothel by fleeing her "husband" with her infant daughter, Bao Qin, Chang's mother-to-be. Growing up during Japan's brutal occupation, free-spirited Bao Qin chose the man she would marry, a Communist Party official slavishly devoted to the revolution. In 1949, while he drove 1000 miles in a jeep to the southwestern province where they would do Mao's spadework, Bao Qin walked alongside the vehicle, sick and pregnant (she lost the child). Chang, born in 1952, saw her mother put into a detention camp in the Cultural Revolution and later "rehabilitated." Her father was denounced and publicly humiliated; his mind snapped, and he died a broken man in 1975. Working as a "barefoot doctor" with no training, Chang saw the oppressive, inhuman side of communism. She left China in 1978 and is now director of Chinese studies at London University. Her meticulous, transparent prose radiates an inner strength. Photos. BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This isn't the worst book I have ever read, I'm about 3/4 through it and still reading, so obviously it has some appeal. Read morePublished 3 months ago by C. Hutchinson
The story behind this book is fascinating, but the book would have benefitted from serious editing. The author's story of the harrowing times in China from pre-WWII through the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by K. Lynn Meyer
This is a first-hand telling of the personal history of modern China... And a woman's perspective at that. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mary McKim
I did not realize that it would be tape, not disc and was too abridged.Published 13 months ago by Judy Elting
Sounded really good and I was excited to read it. I very rarely give up on a book, but this was boring and difficult to read. It was neither a story nor a history book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by jef
Revealing truths, spiritual strengths and weaknesses of women and men living with courage to overcome circumstances and events common to a powerful nation.Published 15 months ago by Shirley Reid
Excellent writing. Details were captivating. Looking forward to reading more books by Jung Chang.Published 15 months ago by Linda Mizzivl