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by Jung Chang

Download Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China ePub
  • ISBN 0007241674
  • ISBN13 978-0007241675
  • Language English
  • Author Jung Chang
  • Publisher Harper Collins Publ. UK (2007)
  • Pages 720
  • Formats txt mobi lrf mbr
  • Category History
  • Subcategory Asia
  • Size ePub 1651 kb
  • Size Fb2 1901 kb
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Votes: 959


Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China is a family history that spans a century, recounting the lives of three female generations in China, by Chinese writer Jung Chang.

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China is a family history that spans a century, recounting the lives of three female generations in China, by Chinese writer Jung Chang. First published in 1991, Wild Swans contains the biographies of her grandmother and her mother, then finally her own autobiography. The book won two awards: the 1992 NCR Book Award and the 1993 British Book of the Year.

To my grandmother and my father who did not live to see this book. My name "Jung' is pronounced "Yung

Jung Chang Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China To my grandmother and my father who did not live to see this bookAuthor's Note My name. To my grandmother and my father who did not live to see this book. My name "Jung' is pronounced "Yung. The names of members of my family and public figures are real, and are spelled in the way by which they are usually known. Other personal names are disguised.

Jung Chang said her mother left some 60 hours of taped narrative before returning to China

Jung Chang said her mother left some 60 hours of taped narrative before returning to China. I could go on for pages describing the horrors these women suffered and the incredible heroism they displayed under conditions brought about by the most wicked behavior the human species has ever displayed.

Daughter for Sale for 10 Kilos of Rice". 23. "The More Books You Read, the More Stupid You Become Become". 21. 6. "Talking about Love". 106. 24. "Please Accept My Apologies That Come a Lifetime Too Late".

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

Using these three extraordinary lives as her main focus, Jung Chang tells the history of China's even more extraordinary twentieth century, from the late Qing Dynasty in the first decade of the century to the relatively free 1980s, a period comprising the Republican era, the battle between the Kwomintang and the Communists, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

Anchor Worldviews books"-Half . Previously published: Simon & Schuster, 1991. Three-Inch Golden Lilies" concubine to a warlord general (1909-1933) - "Even Plain Cold Water Is Sweet" my grandmother marries a Manchu doctor (1933-1938) - "They All Say What a Happy Place Manchukuo Is" life under the Japanese (1938-1945) - "Slaves Who Have No Country of Your Own" ruled by different masters (1945-1947) - "Daughter.

Of his many contributions, polishing my English was only the most obvious.

Jung Chang Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China To my grandmother and my father who did not live to see this book Author's Note My name "Jung' is pronounced "Yung. Jon Halliday has helped me create Wild Swans. Of his many contributions, polishing my English was only the most obvious.

Jon Halliday has helped me create Wild Swans. I can never thank them sufficiently. Much of the book is the story of my mother. My brothers and sister and my relatives and friends in China have generously allowed me to tell their stories, without which Wild Swans would not have been possible. I hope I have done her justice.

Through the story of three generations of women – grandmother, mother and daughter – ‘Wild Swans’ tells nothing less than the whole tumultuous history of China’s tragic 20th-century, from sword-bearing warlords to Chairman Mao, from the Manchu Empire to the Cultural Revolution. At times terrifying, at times astonishing, always deeply moving, ‘Wild Swans’ is a book in a million, a true story with all the passion and grandeur of a great novel. WILD SWANS: Three Daughters of China" Track Info. WILD SWANS: Three Daughters of China Jung Chang.

Talk about Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China


Beazezius
Most often when I review a popular book I liked, I look to the one-star reviews rather than those with five. This is more so I'm not influenced by the words and sentiments in the raves. I want the review to reflect my own reading experience, not the viewpoint of others. The pans are usually good for a laugh, and they often give me a starting point for my own assessment of the book.

I've come to "Wild Swans" late, learning of it only recently from a friend who lived in China awhile teaching English. Ordinarily averse to reading books others recommend to me (don't really know why) this time it worked, in part I suspect because my friend in describing some of the fascinating revelations it contained tugged back the hem of a curtain I hadn't realized was blocking my view of a land and a culture far beyond anything I had imagined. Many of the handful of disappointed readers bemoaned that "Wild Swans" didn't excite them, didn't have enough dialogue to suit their taste for action. They compared the book to works of fiction or fictionalized biographies. They must have missed the parts describing the incomprehensible horrors the Japanese committed on the Chinese in World War II, and then by the Chinese themselves in the subsequent struggles for political control and ultimately by the prevailing Communist Party and by the regime headed by Mao Zedong, a certifiable madman who relentlessly set his subjects against each other by the millions, urging them to torture and beat each other to death and drive one another to insanity and suicide.

I'm surprised anyone who claims to have been bored by author Jung Chang's descriptions of such horrific atrocities as "singing fountains", in which Red Guards split victims' heads open to entertain onlookers with the subsequent screaming and geysers of blood can read at all. Or maybe they miss the dramatic foreground music that prompts them to glance up from their cellphones in time to catch violent depictions on their wide-screen TVs.

Jung Chang builds her story, an account of China's tumultuous history during the 20th century, around the lives of three generations of women - her grandmother, mother and herself, the "wild swans" of the title. Eventually allowed to leave her politically oppressive homeland for England as a visiting scholar, she began writing "Wild Swans" after a visit of several months from her mother. Finally free of the restrictions to talk about anything that might be perceived as showing China in a negative light, Jung Chang's mother starting telling her daughter things she'd bottled up most of her life. She talked almost nonstop, even when she couldn't be with her daughter. Jung Chang said her mother left some 60 hours of taped narrative before returning to China. I could go on for pages describing the horrors these women suffered and the incredible heroism they displayed under conditions brought about by the most wicked behavior the human species has ever displayed.

This statement is bound to arouse suspicion that I'm a political shill or at least am exaggerating beyond reason, but from reading "Wild Swans" I can say with complete confidence that Mao Zedong was a genius of the most evil design ever seen on the planet. If only for the sheer magnitude of Mao's murderous subjugation of China's hundreds of millions, Hitler and Stalin were pipsqueaks in comparison. As Jung Chang observed, Hitler and Stalin relied on elites and secret police to enforce their totalitarian regimes. Mao cowed and brainwashed his subjects with cunning, bringing out their worst instincts toward service without question of his every whim. One consequence was the starvation of millions during a famine brought about solely by Mao's vanity and ignorance.

My vague, naïve sense of China left me woefully unprepared for Jung Chang's deceptively dispassionate revelations. Her straightforward, uncontrived presentation, which has a diary feel at times, gives the horrors she describes a poignance that wrenches the heart. Not that all is ghastly and bleak. Alongside the indelible image of the "singing fountains" is her childhood remembrance of having deliberately swallowed an orange seed. A family member had warned her not to swallow the seeds or orange trees would grow out of her head. She admitted having trouble getting to sleep that night worrying about it.

I prefer this memory to the other, although I know both will ever remain with me.
Gholbirdred
This book is written in a factual way that does not attempt to play with emotions but rather to present 20th Century China as it was. Reading it as a seventy-five year old, I was fascinated that she presented such a complete timeline. I had no idea while I was graduating from high school things were happeneing in China that I hadn't a clue about. And so forth throughout my life. I think this has been one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read. I am very grateful to Jung Change for writing it with such restraint and honesty. I'm so glad she's not there any more.
Vetalol
I chose this book because I've been reading a number of memoirs and it's classified in that genre. I did not expect I would also be reading a graphic and frequently shocking history of modern China. I was shocked by what I learned of the brutality and suffering the Chinese people endured, and the comparison of Mao to other notorious leaders such as Stalin.

The author Jung Chang, who emigrated to London, also describes the joy of literature, beauty in architecture and nature, travel, and participation in a free and open society that I myself experience and, I fear, take for granted.

I recommend this book to anyone who has family members who left China during the Cultural Revolution, to anyone whose mother and grandmothers have been strong positive influences in their life, and to all who want to recognize and learn about the destructive effects of being trapped in an authoritarian regime.
Nicearad
The author was born in 1952 to Chinese Communist revolutionary leaders. In this beautifully written and revealing 1991 biography she traces the lives of her grandmother, her mother and herself through the historical period of warlords, Japanese occupation, rightist armies of Chiang Kai-shek, rise of Communism, Cultural Revolution, and beginnings of modern China.

This is a must-read book. I don’t know how I missed it earlier. It is good literature and it is important history. The author has created an intimate and loving portrait of a close-knit family of individuals with strong character and ideals living in a world often dominated by petty and vengeful characters – taken to an extreme of horror under Mao’s malevolent Cultural Revolution. Written in a straightforward, highly observant and detailed style, it creates a powerful history of that period.

The theme of surviving in a petty and jealous environment shows up early on. The grandmother grew up with bound feet as her father schemed to marry her to a warlord general. As the warlord’s concubine “wife” she rarely saw him, but bore him a daughter, and was later hounded by jealous other wives and concubines. After his death she married the well-respected Dr. Xia. To escape his jealous family, they moved away with her daughter leaving all his property and money behind. Living simply, they sheltered others in the threatening climate of the Japanese occupation and then the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-Shek.

The mother grew up sensitive and outspoken. Chang carefully sets the stage for her parents’ engagement in Communism, and she delicately paints the picture of her well-educated father’s stubborn adherence to ideals and the difficulties experienced from it. They had five children (the author being second). As Communist values prevailed, the children were sent to live in nurseries, but eventually as elite revolutionary leaders they were allowed to live as a family and for a few years the children had schooling and relative security. But the mother’s past history of helping the wrong people and the father’s defiance brought downfall.

Along with millions, they became victims of the Cultural Revolution. Chang provides a detailed account of this horrifying period in history and how the pettiness and jealousy of people was turned into a weapon. Mao’s programs had plunged the country into poverty and famine. Corrective measures taken by other Communist leaders helped end the famine, but then Mao took revenge and solidified his leadership by removing all former party members and arranging for their detention and torture. Gangs of youth (Red Guard) were formed to attack the enemies of the people and ran rampant through the streets. People were encouraged to inform on each other. Family histories were examined for any previous links contrary to Mao. Books were burned, schools were closed, and Mao propaganda was pushed through loudspeakers and reading material.

Her parents were imprisoned, interrogated, and tortured. It was largely through her mother’s courage and resourcefulness that the family was held together and able to avoid the worst tortures, navigating through those who would turn on them and those who would help. This is also a story of Jung awakening. She describes herself as an unquestioning follower of Mao, as one of many who saw the leader as almost a god, while being distraught at the events around her. And then she relates how her eyes and mind began to open, to see and to question.

To me this book has tremendous value in that it renders in intimate detail what it was like living in China under Mao, recording a history of how people of all classes suffered and died needlessly during his regime. And further, it has the literary value of relating delicate intricacies of living under such a regime and managing to maintain dignity and live one’s values.