Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

Few books have ever had such an impact as Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. Since its first publication it has been published in 37 languages and sold more than 13 million copies (while still banned in mainland China). Through the story of three generations of women in her own family – grandmother, mother and daughter – Jung Chang reveals the whole tragic history of China’s twentieth century.

Jung Chang’s grandmother’s feet were bound as a child, and she was given to a warlord general as a concubine. As the general lay dying, she fled with her infant daughter. That daughter grew up to become active in the Communist movement during the civil war against the Kuomintang.  Following the Communist victory in 1949 she and her husband became senior officials. Jung Chang, their daughter, was raised in the privileged circles of China’s Communist elite, but was to take the unimaginable step of questioning Mao himself. Her parents were denounced and tortured, and she herself was exiled to the edge of the Himalayas.

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China is a tale of extraordinary cruelty and bravery, of death and survival. Breathtaking in its scope, unforgettable in its description of China’s long nightmare, it is both an important work of history and a remarkable human document.


Reviews of Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China


“An inspiring tale of women who survived every kind of hardship, deprivation and political upheaval with their humanity intact.”
Hillary Clinton, O, The Oprah Winfrey Show

“Immensely moving and unsettling; an unforgettable portrait of the brain-death of a nation.”
J.G. BallardSunday Times

Wild Swans made me feel like a five-year-old. This is a family memoir that has the breadth of the most enduring social history.”
Martin AmisIndependent on Sunday

“This real-life saga of a Chinese family over three generations contains more domestic drama than Dynasty, more violence than any film noir, more heart-rending tragedy than Little Dorrit and more ironic twists and turns and villains on the make than any Balzacian fresco. Almost casually, Jung Chang introduces us to a world where personal insecurity, sudden ruin and the possibility of torture and violent death are as perfunctorily taken for granted as tomorrow”s thunderstorm. There has never been a book like this.”
Edward BehrLos Angeles Times

“Of all the personal histories to have emerged out of China”s twentieth-century nightmare, Wild Swans is the most deeply thoughtful and the most heart-rending I’ve read. It moves, in part, like a ghastly oriental fairytale, but the authority and the reticent passion with which Jung Chang speaks her memories – and those of others – is unmistakable.”
Colin ThubronSpectator

“A huge tour de force.”
Derek DaviesFinancial Times

“Makes visible, intimate and immediate the pain and horror that are cloaked in the silence of China”s recent history.”
Howard Chua-EoanTime

“Riveting, an extraordinary epic. A work of true, living history drawing deep on family memories, an unmatchable insight into the making of modern China and the impact of war and totalitarianism on the destinies of a quarter of the human race.”
Richard HellerMail on Sunday (UK)

“An extraordinary story, popular history at its most compelling. Her readiness to record life’s small pleasures as well as its looming horrors is not only an index of Jung Chang”s honesty and good humour, it is a part of what makes Wild Swans so fascinating. To compare Wild Swans to sagas of the kind that fill the bestseller lists may seem to trivialise the real and deadly seriousness of its subject matter, but the book offers many of the pleasures of good historical fiction.”
Lucy Hughes-HalletIndependent (UK)

“If you care at all about the history of China in the twentieth century – or even if you don’t, come to think of it – Wild Swans is riveting. It’s blindingly good: a mad adventure story, a fairy tale of courage, a tall tale of atrocities…. You can’t, as they say, put it down.”
Carolyn SeeNew York Newsday

“Mesmerizing. Like all great stories of survival, no matter what tragedies and horrors are encountered along the way, Wild Swans is ultimately an uplifting book: it is the the courage and spirit of this family which will, I believe, be my abiding impression (even if memories of the horrors endured will take a long time to fade).”
Antonia Fraser, The Times (London)

“If there remains the slightest doubt about the tragic quality of life in the China of this century, this memoir should put it definitively to rest.”
Judith ShapiroWashington Post

“Everything about Wild Swans is extraordinary. It arouses all the emotions, such as pity and terror, that great tragedy is supposed to evoke, and also a complex mixture of admiration, despair and delight at seeing a luminous intelligence directed at the heart of darkness.”
Minette MarrinSunday Telegraph (UK)

“Wild Swans has stayed in my mind all year. Quite unforgettable.”
Michael IgnatieffTimes Literary Supplement


Foreign Editions

China (Simplified Chinese Characters)
(Simplified Chinese Characters)
Brazil (Portuguese)
Wild Swans Croatian Edition
Croatia (Croatian)
Wild Swans Czech Edition
Czech Republic (Czech)
Wild Swans Danish Edition
Denmark (Danish)
Wild Swans Estonian Edition
Estonia (Estonian)
Wild Swans Finnish Edition
Finland (Finnish)
Wild Swans French Edition
France (French)
Wild Swans German Edition
Germany (German)
Wild Swans Greek Edition
Greece (Greek)
Wild Swans Dutch Edition
Netherlands (Dutch)
Wild Swans Chinese Edition
China (Chinese)
Wild Swans Hungarian Edition
Hungary (Hungarian)
Wild Swans Icelandic Edition
Iceland (Icelandic)
Wild Swans Marathi Edition
India (Marathi)
Wild Swans Telugu Edition
India (Telugu)
Wild Swans Hebrew Edition
Israel (Hebrew)
Wild Swans Hong Kong Edition
Hong Kong (Chinese)
Wild Swans Italian Edition
Italy (Italian)
Wild Swans Japanese Edition
Japan (Japanese)
Wild Swans Korean Edition
South Korea (Korean)
Wild Swans Arabic Edition
Lebanon (Arabic)
Wild Swans Burmese Edition
Burma (Burmese)
Wild Swans Norwegian Edition
Norway (Norwegian)
Wild Swans Polish Edition
Poland (Polish)
Wild Swans Portuguese Edition
Portugal (Portuguese)
Wild Swans Romanian Edition
Romania (Romanian)
Wild Swans Russian Edition
Russia (Russian)
Wild Swans Serbian Edition
Serbia (Serbian)
Wild Swans Slovenian Edition
Slovenia (Slovenian)
Wild Swans Catalan Edition
Spain (Catalan)
Wild Swans Spanish Edition
Spain (Spanish)
Wild Swans Sinhala Edition
Sri Lanka (Sinhala)
Wild Swans Swedish Edition
Sweden (Swedish)
Wild Swans Taiwan Edition
Taiwan (Chinese)
Wild Swans Thai Edition
Thailand (Thai)
Wild Swans Turkish Edition
Turkey (Turkish)
Wild Swans US Edition
USA (US English)
(US English)
Iran (Farsi/Persian)

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China is also available in the following languages:

Wild Swans UK Edition
UK edition

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China is available in Hardback, Paperback, eBook; and Audio CD in abridged and unabridged versions.
Wild Swans US Audio CD (Unabridged)
Wild Swans Audio CD (Abridged)
Wild Swans Audio Cassette (Unabridged)

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