!!> BOOKS ✺ Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China ✰ Author Jung Chang – Tactical-player.co.uk

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China I read this book around 20 years ago, so thought I d treat myself to the audio version Its just as heart rending as the first time I read it.It takes a slice of social A Tale of Two Cities, and Alexandre Dumas with his books You see it through the prism of three generations of a family hence, three daughters of China.The grandmother had her feet bound and was given by her father as a concubine to further his career the mother and father suffered the brunt of recriminations during Mao s Cultural Revolution spectacular falls from grace , and the daughter finally left China as an adult on an English scholarship, and later settled in London.Rowena Cooper has a beautiful voice it reminds me of listening to Eleanor Bron s reading of A Little Princess.Highly, highly recommended. It Is Impossible To Exaggerate The Importance Of This Book Mary WesleyEverything 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, The Sunday TelegraphImmensely Moving And Unsettling An Unforgettable Portrait Of The Brain Death Of A Nation JG Ballard, Sunday TimesWild 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 SundayThere Has Never Been A Book Like This Edward Behr, Los Angeles TimesWild Swans Is A Tragic Tale Of Nightmarish Cruelty And An Uplifting Story Of Bravery And Survival 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 of the first Chinese students to get a doctorate at a British university since before the communist takeover in 1949 Her grandmother s family came from Manchuria in the extreme north of China, and at the age of 15 in 1924 she was given away as a concubine to one of the warlords vying for control in this part of China in the vacuum created by the overthrow of the last Chinese emperor in 1912 Her mother, the daughter of this union, was one of the early idealistic communists in the years leading up to the 1949 revolution and for the first few heady years of the new regime when there seemed to be a genuine attempt to create a better society and reduce the oppressive and miserable life of the majority of the population, especially in rural areas The book covers in depth the dramatic and horrific events that followed the initially promising but quickly aborted attempt at liberalisation that was the Hundred Flowers campaign the Great Leap Forward , where much of the country was forced to produce steel to boost industry, to such an extent that agriculture collapsed and famine ensued, in which some 30 million people died, including the author s uncle and great aunt then, after a brief period of reform, the appalling Cultural Revolution , Mao s attempt to create a personal rule, overthrowing much of his own communist apparatus, which dislocated society and economy, destroying much of the country s cultural and historical infrastructure, effectively abolishing education, burning nearly all books, banning films, theatre and sport, seriously blighting the author s teenage years and adult adulthood and which, despite some relaxation after 1972, didn t fully end until after Mao s death and the overthrow of the Gang of Four, led by his wife, in autumn 1976.Despite this litany of catastrophe, there is hope in the love and closeness of the family, centred here around the three eponymous amazing and strong minded women After the death of her warlord husband , who treated her fairly decently by the standards of the time, the grandmother found happiness married to a much older man the mother found love with a fellow communist and, despite strains caused by her husband s principled but rigid puritanism, their marriage survived their vicious denunciations by Red Guards and others at the appalling mass meetings, and their imprisonment in labour camps until the early 1970s The physical and mental strains of years of humiliation and subjection to forced labour and psychological pressures, killed the author s father at the age of only 54 in 1975 In the relatively relaxed atmosphere of the later 1970s, especially after the restoration to power of Deng Xiaoping, the future paramount leader in the 80s and 90s, the author was able to study abroad and the lives of her mother and other family members, as well as that of hundreds of millions of other Chinese, improved dramatically, albeit within the framework of what remains of course a one party communist state The afterword recounts in brief the author s life in Britain and the original publication of this book in 1991 what I have read is the 25th anniversary edition One thing I would like to have heard a bit about, though, was how she was able to defect to Britain after gaining her doctorate in 1982 This is a magnificent and absorbing book, with much to say about human nature at its best and worse, and the horrors that blind adherence to an ideology can bring about. This is my favourite book of all time It is a collection human stories of hardship and survival against the changing backdrop of Chinese political history It focuses on three generations of women and their families Some of the subjects highlighted are harrowing but I think everyone should know about the reality of this fascinating country. I didn t really know much about this book before I ventured in but I had it on my Kindle for a while and the reviews looked great As it was a Kindle book, I didn t have much of an idea on the size and it took me a lot longer to read than I thought.Wild Swans is the true history of three generations of women living through the nightmare that is modern Chinese history One is the author herself, the second is her mother, an earnest Communist and the third is her grandmother, who was married off as a concubine to a warlord as a girl and lived to see her family suffer for this unfortunate connection again and again.I knew nothing about Chinese history before venturing into this book and the truth of what happened shocked me This whole book is hard to review, it s depressing, uplifting, gruesome, horrific and loving It s a story of strength and endurance The writing flows well and the characters are well defined There are a few things that are repeated and I felt like it was a bit longer than it needed to be.I think that if you have an interest in China, Chinese people, Chinese history, or Chinese politics then this book will be a must read for you but if you just have a passing interest, then this book might be than you need. One of the best books I have ever read Moving, fascinating and deeply informative It s beautifully written and gives an insight into China before, during and after the cultural revolution through the true story of three women s lives You will be gripped by this story as it s certainly no dry history but draws you in to their world If you only read one book this year, read this one


About the Author: Jung Chang

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China book, this is one of the most wanted Jung Chang author readers around the world.


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