7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Uplifting, enthralling, extraordinary,
This review is from: Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (Paperback)
Jung Chang offers a personal history of three generations of Chinese women, and a gripping account of a century of China's history. She follows her grandmother from an era of foot binding and concubines, follows her mother's entry into revolutionary politics, and recounts her own experience as Red Guard and translation to England and pursuit of a doctorate.
This is a living history, vivid, engaging, dotted with anecdotes which sweep up your imagination and transport you into another culture and another world. Jung Chang blends the personal, family history with the wider arena of political and social change - the warlords are swept away by the Japanese invasion, the Japanese, in turn, face defeat, and China is caught up in the civil war between Nationalists and Communists.
But the changing role of women becomes apparent through this discourse into history: Jung Chang's grandmother is an assertive, talented woman, her mother is no less committed to being valued as a person in her own right and refuses to be treated as a second class citizen or lesser human. With a lineage like that, is it any wonder that Jung Chang should achieve so much?
Beautifully written, highly evocative, and an utterly absorbing page-turner of a biography and history, this book is likely to stimulate you to want to know more about China and its history. It's also a glorious, life-affirming piece of writing and will raise your spirits. First class!