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.
About the Author
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.
"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."
"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."
— The New Yorker
"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
"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