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Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (1991)

by Jung Chang

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,351150904 (4.14)1 / 422
A Chinese woman chronicles the struggle of her grandmother, her mother, and herself to survive in a China torn apart by wars, invasions, revolution, and continuing upheaval, from 1907 to the present.
  1. 20
    The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (Jennie_103)
    Jennie_103: Another story of generations of chinese women.
  2. 31
    The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (ominogue)
  3. 00
    Eighth Moon: The True Story of a Young Girl's Life in Communist China by Bette Lord (MarthaJeanne)
  4. 00
    Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now by Jan Wong (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Another interesting memoir about a young woman's excitement and then disillusionment at Mao's China.
  5. 00
    Wild Ginger by Anchee Min (mcenroeucsb)
  6. 00
    A Mother's Ordeal: One Woman's Fight Against China's One-Child Policy by Steven W. Mosher (inbedwithbooks)
  7. 00
    A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A fictional story of three generations of Chinese American women who travel back to China together.

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» See also 422 mentions

English (120)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Japanese (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (147)
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
Read about half of this some time ago. It was quite interesting, I want to return to it.
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
A multi-generational memoir from China. This saga reads like fiction. Across three generations of women and multiple regime changes, the author paints a sweeping picture of the challenges of living under Communist leadership. The absurdities, the tortures, and the fears abound. Frankly, throughout the reading of this book I repeatedly asked myself if I would have survived. I am not certain I would have. If you only want to read about China once, this would be a good pick. ( )
  hemlokgang | Jan 22, 2021 |
This book is both incredibly important and incredibly depressing, demonstrating the massive cruelty, terror and deception that human beings can be manipulated into inflicting on each other and themselves. It’s harrowing and heartbreaking, but also eye-opening, and even uplifting when you look at the way this family struggled through, clinging to their integrity and their love for one another. ( )
  elusiverica | Aug 15, 2020 |
Méghogy Orwell 1984-e utópia - tökéletesen megvalósították Kínában. Felzaklató olvasmány, meglepően sok magyar vonatkozással és áthallással. Női sorsokat mutat be, de egy teljes évszázad történetét ismerteti, nemcsak egy családét, de számtalanét. Jó leírása a hatalomnak, az egyének viselkedésének. Szörnyű tények egy korszakról, melyet nem is lehetett kívülről látni és szerencsénkre nekünk csak a "legvidámabb" része jutott. ( )
  gjudit8 | Aug 3, 2020 |
انطباعاتي أثناء القراءة؟ الحنق الشديد كلما جاء شيء عن الثقة العمياء، أنه يجب سحق المعارضة حتى وإن كانت وهمية، وتصديق الشعب لوهم العدو.. تلك الحالة من القلق الدائم التي لا تنتج أي شيء جيد، ولا ننسى الكره الشديد والاستغراب من ناحية تعذيب باقي الشعب بحجة البرجوازية عوضا عن تحسين أوضاع الفلاحين والطبقات الفقيرة. هذا النوع من اللاآدمية وضعني في موضع استغراب وعدم فهم، هل تمزحون معي! هل حقا تصدقون ما تفعلونه؟ - بالطبع كانوا يصدقون ويؤمنون بطريقة لا تقبل الشك على الإطلاق -
بالرغم من الفرق الكبير بين تاريخ بدايتي وانتهائي منه إلا أنها لا علاقة لها بالكتاب، في الواقع انتهى على ثلاث أو أربع مرات..
ما يميز هذه الرواية/السيرة هو الطابع السياسي - بالطبع لابد أن يميز هذا الطابع الكتاب بالنسبة لي - وما يميز هذا الطابع السياسي بالتحديد هو أنه سياسي اجتماعي، ليس بطابع التقرير والتلقين ولكن بالحديث الضمني اليومي في السياسة في الايديولوجيا الشيوعية والماوية.. ذلك الحديث المحرم والممنوع وفي نفس الوقت الحياة العادية الدارجة، ما يطلق عليه آصف بيات life as politics مع حفظ سياق آصف في الشرق الأوسط بالطبع..
كمجمل الترجمة سلسة لم تثر استيائي.. الكتاب ككل رائع والسرد متناسق بدا لي واقعيا وإنسانيا بدرجة كبيرة وهو مطلوب بالطبع في هذا النوع من السرد.. ( )
  Reem.Amgad | Jun 3, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chang, Jungprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Castelli Gair, GianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castelli-Gair Hombría, GianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chu-tanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gair, Gian CastelliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hout, Bert Willem van derCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Syrier, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To my grandmother and my father
who did not live to see this book
First words
At the age of fifteen my grandmother became the concubine of a warlord general, the police chief of a tenuous national government of China.
[Author's Note] My name "Jung" is pronounced "Yung."
[Epilogue] I have made London my home.
With luck, one could fall in love after getting married.
They had been brought up in the fanatical personality cult of Mao and the militant doctrine of "class struggle".  They were endowed with the qualities of youth - they were rebellious, fearless, eager to fight for a "just cause", thirsty for adventure and action. They were also irresponsible, ignorant and easy to manipulate - and prone to violence.
When I came home that afternoon, I found my father in the kitchen. He had lit a fire in the big cement sink, and was hurling his books into the flames.
This was the first time in my life I had seen him weeping. It was agonized, broken, and wild, the weeping of a man who was not used to shedding tears. Every now and then, in fits of violent sobs, he stamped his feet on the floor and banged his head against the wall.
... My father had spent every spare penny on his books. They were his life. After the bonfire, I could tell that something had happened to his mind.
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Wikipedia in English (5)

A Chinese woman chronicles the struggle of her grandmother, her mother, and herself to survive in a China torn apart by wars, invasions, revolution, and continuing upheaval, from 1907 to the present.

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Book description
Alleen schrijvers met een uitzonderlijk talent lukt het om grote historische gebeurtenissen zo te beschrijven dat de lezer diep geëmotioneerd raakt. Een schrijver moet ook over veel overtuigings- en verbeeldingskracht beschikken om de lezer deelgenoot te maken van de gevoelens die de personages beheersen. Over dat talent beschikt de Chinese schrijfster Jung Chang. In Wilde zwanen, drie dochters van China vertelt zij de buitengewone levensgeschiedenis van haar grootmoeder, concubine van een generaal in het feodale China; en ten slotte het indrukwekkende verhaal hoe zij zelf als jong meisje in China opgroeide. Wilde zwanen geeft een panoramische visie van drie vrouwen op een complexe samenleving in de vorm van intieme memoires, prachtige portretten en verteld als een meeslepende kroniek van het twintigste-eeuwse China. En ondanks de haast onvoorstelbare gruwelen die de familie van Jung Chang ten deel zijn gevallen en die door de auteur op bijna onderkoelde manier worden beschreven, is Wilde zwanen een indrukwekkende getuigenis van optimistisch geloof in een rechtvaardige samenleving met gelijke rechten en gelijke kansen voor ieder individu.
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