Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China

"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. Chang herself marched, worked, and breathed for Mao until doubt crept in over the excesses of his policies and purges. Born just a few decades apart, their lives overlap with the end of the warlords’ regime and overthrow of the Japanese occupation, violent struggles between the Kuomintang and the Communists to carve up China, and, most poignant for the author, the vicious cycle of purges orchestrated by Chairman Mao that discredited and crushed millions of people, including her parents." (text taken from Amazon)
Year of Publication
Number of Pages
ISBN Number
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)


Please login to review this resource

Review for Wild Swan: Three daughters of China

Field of Interest/Specialty: Language
Posted On: 05/31/2011

This is an autobiographical/ biographical novel. The main characters in this book are three female generations of the same family – author’s grandmother, mother and herself. The story is long and writing is plain and there is a lot of history information. Through the description of the female’s marriage, family, friends, history events, readers will have a general idea of the whole picture of China’s troublous times during 19th century as well as the changes of social customs in this country.
Author put emphasis on the sufferings her parents got during the culture revolution through which actually the author wants to explain how awful the communism is. Even though both her parents are high senior officials in China, and the whole family for this reason are enjoyed privilege in the country, the author hated the communist system. As a Chinese born at 1970’s, I know that culture revolution is a disaster to Chinese people as well as the country, but I still feel the author’s descriptions are fiercely worded which maybe related with her special background.
This is a nice novel, the author’s unique style made this book a success. I would recommend this book to my senior students.

Phenomenal historical novel

Field of Interest/Specialty: Social Studies - World History
Posted On: 05/30/2010

This historical novel is engaging and educational. Although very detailed at points, it allows the reader to gain insight on several years of Chinese history. A variety of the scenarios throughout the novel may seem shocking to some Westerners who are not familiar with Eastern culture and history. Portions of this book may even be used in a secondary classroom or it may be a helpful required read for a college course. As a teacher, I have learned much about the history of Asia and the cultural components for women in particular. Emotion, triumph, loss and defeat are all incorporated in this well written and engaging piece of literature. I would certainly recommend it for students in their last years of high school and older.