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Wilde zwanen drie dochters van China by Jung…
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Wilde zwanen drie dochters van China (original 1991; edition 1994)

by Jung Chang

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,153148902 (4.14)1 / 412
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.
Member:biblion
Title:Wilde zwanen drie dochters van China
Authors:Jung Chang
Info:Amsterdam Forum 1994
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (1991)

  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 412 mentions

English (119)  Dutch (9)  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 119 (next | show all)
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 |
Personal history of strong women surviving in Mao's China. ( )
  richardSprague | Mar 22, 2020 |
"as the revolution was made by human beings, it was burdened with their failings."

Wild Swans is a memoir of three generations of author Jung Chang’s family, principally the lives of her grandmother, mother and herself but through the lives of these three successive generations the reader is given a front row seat into some of the most momentous events of the twentieth century allowing them to understand and appreciate what they meant to the country from a very personal level.

While, this book provides an insight into the lives of ordinary Chinese people over a momentous period of roughly 70 years, in a nation that convulses from seismic upheavals from one crumbling after the overthrow of its Emperor, to occupation of the Japanese, the rise of the the Nationalist Kuomintang to eventual Communist rule under Chairman Mao.

Yet is difficult to view this family as anything but ordinary. Each generation possesses intelligence, strength of will, emotional fortitude and a strong work ethic, qualities that earn Jung Chang's parents influential positions within the new communist government on merit. However, the Communist Party would always view Chang’s mother with suspicion; coming from a city which was under Japanese and Kuomintang occupation for so long and where she was known to be politically active.

The first half of the book centres around Chang’s parents and in particular their seemingly difficult relationship. Her father, Wang Yu, was a deeply committed member of the Communist Party, to the extent that he frequently puts the party before his own family failing to support his wife either in public or in private. Chang doesn't blame the party but instead turns her resentment on her father.

"My father’s devotion to communism was absolute: he felt he had to speak the same language in private, even to his wife, that he did in public. My mother was much more flexible; her commitment was tempered by both reason and emotion. She gave a space to the private; my father did not."

For a time, the family live a life of privilege, due to Wang Yu’s high rank, but the growing influence of Mao would bring devastation, depression and disillusionment to both the family unit and to the country as a whole under his and his cohorts brutal dictatorship. The final third of this novel centres around the author’s relationship with the cult of Mao. As her family are brutalised the author struggles to separate her devotion to the cause and Mao's achievements in the country for China from the realities of what is happening around her.

"It was in this period that I started to realise that it was Mao who was really responsible for the Cultural Revolution. But I still did not condemn him explicitly, even in my own mind. It was so difficult to destroy a god!"

On the whole I found this a fascinating read about a series of extraordinary events in a country and a time that I knew little about beforehand but I must also admit that I struggled a little with the author's matter-of-fact writing style. I realise that this is a non-fiction novel and as such she probably didn't want to air her parent's personal relationship too freely yet the lack of anything other than guarded emotion I found a touch disconcerting. The author credits her husband with helping her to write the book so perhaps this a result of his influence or maybe it just shows an awareness of her audience. She is able to explain why Chinese people supported various groups, whether nationalists or Communists at various times without rancour or bitterness. As such Wild Swans would certainly be on a short-list for featuring my favourite non-fiction book.

"I could understand ignorance, but I could not accept its glorification, still less its right to rule." ( )
  PilgrimJess | Sep 29, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 119 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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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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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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