Jung Chang's grandmother was born in China in 1909. At the age of 15 she was given to a warlord as concubine. Chang's mother grew up in Manchuria and became an active Communist. After a privileged childhood, Jung Chang became a Red Guard. But faced with the Cultural Revolution, she questioned Communism, a step which was to have momentous consequences for her and her family...
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 is a powerful, moving, at times shocking account of three generations of Chinese women, as compelling as Amy Tan." --Mary Morris.
"An evocative, often astonishing view of life in a changing China." -- The New York Times
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