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by: jung chang

Wild Swans

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Selected By

Cass F.

Number
Book 4
BookSluts Rating
★3.8/5 Stars
Month Read
June 2020

Summary

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.

Highlights

“When he asked my grandmother if she would mind being poor, she said she would be happy just to have her daughter and himself: 'If you have love, even plain water is sweet.”

Jung Chang, Wild Swans

“...boredom was as exhausting as backbreaking labor.”

Jung Chang, Wild Swans

“As a child, my idea of the West was that it was a miasma of poverty and misery, like that of the homeless 'Little Match Girl'in the Hans Christian Andersen story. When I was in the boarding nursery and did not want to finish my food, the teacher would say:'Think of all the starving children in the capitalist world!”

Jung Chang, Wild Swans

BTS Image Wild Swans

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