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Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  47,171 ratings  ·  3,502 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 696 pages
Published June 14th 1993 by Flamingo (first published 1991)
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Wild Swans may well be the most depressing book I've ever read. Don't let that keep you from giving it a try, though, for by some strange mechanism, it also ranks among the most uplifting books I've read, chronicling as it does a courage, resilience and will to survive which are nothing short of riveting. I could sum the book up by saying it's the greatest ode to courage and resilience ever written, or that it's one of those rare books which make you despair of humanity and then go a long way to ...more
Lubna ALajarmah
الكتاب الوحيد الذي خطفني لعالمه ورفض رفضاً قاطعاً أن يشاركه أحد غيره بي .. عبثاً حاولت أن اقرأ كتاب آخر بنفس الوقت .. كلما هممت أجد كتاب البجعات ينظر إلي بحنين يعتصر قلبي فأعود مشتاقة إليه .. مستغربة من نفسي ومن صبري على 600 صفحة قرأتها على مهل في تسعة أيام دون ليالي .. كنت أترك الليل للتفكير بما أقرأه بالنهار وأتصور حجم المأساة التي يمكن لإنسان طبيعي أن يتحملها .. وأكاد أجزم أن الصينيين ليسوا طبيعيين ليتحملوا ألماً جسدياً ونفسياً وفكرياً بهذا الحجم وبهذه البشاعة ..

لن أتحدث عن تفاصيل الرواية ..
At first I did not want to voice my opinion of this book since it cut so near to the bone and was such a profound shock to read in 1993. It was, however, the first book, after reading Isabelle Allende, that kept me awake for several weeks afterwards. No other book ever managed to achieve that.

It certainly is a depressing book, no beating around the bush about that, but also such a courageous introduction to a life of people shut away behind the veil of communism. My overall impression of the boo
A fascinating description of one family's experiences of China's political upheavals during the 20th century. Although Jung Chang's family are fairly privileged much of the time, they still experience great hardships: being an official and Party member was no guarantee of immunity from persecution and even torture.

It's part biography/autobiography and part a historical/political/psychological exposition of how Communist China came into being and to how it
One of the most fascinating books I have ever read. Not only do I feel I got an honest history of communist China, its story plays out like a novel - I never wanted to put it down. Chang excels at pulling it together for you - showing you the differences between her Grandmother's life, her mother's life and her own, moving chronologically in a manner that makes such good sense. I completely followed it despite my absolute dearth of knowledge on the subject of China. I wept with her and felt an a ...more
بجعات برية...رواية لا تقرأ مثلها كل يوم...

في الصين يطلق على أدب السيرة الذاتية ''شانخ خن ون شيو'' وترجمتها الحرفية ''أدب الجروح''...وفي هذه الرواية تجلت الجروح بكل آلامها...

بعد أن تحاشت التفكير في الصين التي خلفتها وراءها لعشر سنوات...و بعد أن أمسى الماضي أقل إيلاما...قررت يونغ شانغ أن تروي...
ولا عجب من حاجتها لتلك السنوات حتى تندفع ذاكرتها خارجة ...فبعد قراءة الرواية ألجمت كل حروفي عن التعبير عن كل ذلك الألم الذي تخللها...فكيف بمن عاش الحدث وكان جزءا منه؟؟!!

لست صينية بالتأكيد...ولكنني مع ذلك مم
mai ahmd
عبارة عن سيرة حياة ثلاث سيدات صينيات بدءا من الجدة ثم الأم والحفيدة
تتناول فترة ما قبل حكم ماو وما بعده وسياسة الإذلال والتخلف
التي عاشها الشعب في كلا العصرين من خلال عذابات هذه الأسرة نموذج لما عانت منه الصين خلال هذه الفترة المميتة !

من شدةجاذبية هذا الكتاب والمآسي التي حملته روعة السرد أنهيتها في خمسة أيام
كنت أقرأ دون توقف ودون أن أشعر بنفسي
لأن تاريخ الصين كان غائب عني
هالني ما كان يحدث فيها
ولا يمكن لأحد أن يقرأ الكتاب دون أن تسرقه الدهشة إلى نهاية الكتاب
Feb 19, 2008 Trina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone--particularly someone planning a visit to China
Recommended to Trina by: My sister who was living in Beijing
We bought this book before a trip to Beijing in 2005, but Amazon was particularly slow with their delivery and it arrived just a couple of days before our departure. My husband began reading the book on the plane (and even though the book is banned in China, our bags weren't searched so our copy made it into the country without any problem), but didn't finish it until well after we'd returned home. At that point, my interest had waned a bit. In addition, I just don't like to read "sad" books, an ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
This is a very rare book which has convinced thousands of its readers here at goodreads to give it the highest rating possible solely on the strength of the story in it. Those who look for unique writing styles, or breathtaking passages, memorable quotes, wordplays, or interesting new words will not find anything here. The author, who was born and who grew up in China, learned the rudiments of the English language when she was already a young adult. So she wrote this in an English which is just ...more
على الرغم من أن النصيب قذف بي مستنقع هذا العصر حيث انتمي لأمة مهزومة تعادي نفسها، إلا أن الحظ ترفق بي فلم يلق بي في غياهب دولة بوليسية، تحصي أنفاسي، وتتلصص على دخيلة نفسي ثم تتفنن في تحليل النوايا كي تبقيني عدوا محتملا طوال عمري. ولا تكتفي بذلك بل تفرض علي نمط مأكلي ومظهري وطريقتي في الحديث. وتمعن في كل ذلك حتى لا يبقى من حريتي وخصوصيتي شئ يستحق مشقة البقاء على قيد الحياة.

في هذا المجلد الضخم، تروي المتعصبة الماوية سابقا المهاجرة حاليا قصة الصين منذ الاحتلال الياباني حتى وفاة الزعيم الشيوعي ماو
I am daunted by the prospect of commenting on this book. Jung Chang tells the story of her grandmother who was a concubine to a warlord general before marrying a compassionate and principled Manchu doctor, and was one of the last generation to suffer the disabling practice of foot-binding.

She tells the story of her mother, revolutionary, committed communist, wife of a passionate political leader, whose support for the regime finally collapsed in the face of inexpressibly extreme onslaughts of vi
Lynne King
After reading Margitte's excellent review just now and browsing through this book again, I've decided to up my rating.

* * * * * * * * *

I see that I read this hardback in 1993. I will, when I get the time, reread it just to see how I now view it.

It's the story of three Chinese woman and it is a memoir of Jung Chang, her mother and her grandmother.

There are wonderful photos portraying China's history, although not necessarily pleasant memories.

The author "grew up in Manchuria under Japanese and th
Simply put, “Wild Swans” is a poor man’s Life and Death in Shanghai.

Reason being that that while the initial chapters about Jung Chang’s grandmother are informative and interesting as it gives us a peek into the life of people in Pre-Communist China; as the book progresses, Chang’s ignorance (as she was a little girl at that time) about the events happening around her becomes a permanent annoyance.

I am not saying that Chang was still ignorant about what happened in China during the “Great Leap
ربما كانت مظاهر اللا منطق والظلم المنتشرة حولنا، والعنف والموت الذي أصبح عنواناً رئيسياً لكل نشرة أخبار نشاهدها كل ذلك جعل مشاعري نوعاً ما تتبلَّد وأصبح عدد الضحايا عندما يتم وصفهم برقم منفرد يكاد لا يعني شيئاً فما بالك عندما يقترن الرقم بصفر يرفع من قيمته.. يا إلهي أصبح الرقم عشرة أو مئة وأحياناً ألف تمر مرور الكرام علي، فعلاً التعود على رؤية الموت على ذلك الصندوق أو المُسطح عصف وأصاب حس الإدراك عندي بالعطب .. فموت شخص (1) يعني فقد حياة كاملة تعني لغيري الكثير وقد تتغير حياة من حوله 180 درجة فم ...more
Wild Swans presents the story of three generations in the life of the author's family, which covers most of the 20th century, as well as the amazing social, political and economic changes occurring in China as a whole. We move from the portrait of a concubine with bound feet to a woman who worked alongside her Communist Party husband to bring Party ideals to fruition, then on to the granddaughter who is among the first of her generation to be allowed to leave the country to study.

Along the way,
Mar 26, 2015 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Chinese history, oriental literature or wonderful stories!
I've never felt so sad to reach the end of a book in all my life. This book is amazing and is well and truly the best book I've ever read! I even had the urge to start reading it all over again as soon as I'd finished.

Wild Swans follows the journey of three generations of women, from the same family, through the tragic history of twentieth century China.

I felt almost ashamed that I wasn't aware of hardly any of China's recent history. I picked the book up as I was doing a charity trek along the
My heart ached every time I picked up this book to read. It rang page after page of unspeakable acts delivered to and through the everyday lives of the people of China under the rule of Mao. The only real hope conveyed in the book was Chang's beautiful depiction of the places where she, her mother and her grandmother had lived. She captures the smallest detail and creates a clear picture for her reader. I believe this book grants us a view of what it is like to live in a Godless society.
Asma Fedosia
"Wild Swans" (1991) has very helpful introductory notes. Because of the Chinese names, I was glad to know how to pronounce Jung=Yung, X=sh, Q=ch. The 2003 Introduction is added, in which she aims to write about "how the Chinese really felt" during the twentieth century through experiences of her grandmother, her mother, and herself. Especially interesting are the changing lives of women across three generations, which depict notions of beauty, concubinage, and foot-binding then community activis ...more

ماذا آكتب عن هذه الروآية ؟ التي رافقتني آطول مدة أقضيها مع كتاب .. لم آستطع قراءة كل هذا الالم والتاريخ
دفعة واحده .. سيرة تاريخية اجتماعية سياسية لثلاث نساء توضح قصة بلد بأكمله ،، مع يونغ تشانغ رآيت الصين بعين مختلفة تماماً ... ورآيت قساوة الدكتاتورية وبشاعته في أساليب ماو تسي تونغ واتباعه .. كان قدوة جيده لكثير من الطغاة من بعده ! لا أنكر اعجابي به في بداية الثورة الشيوعية ،، فالكاتبة احاكت السيرة بجعلها تسسلسلاً تفهم وتدرك وتعيش معه الاحداث ...
لم اقرء عن الصين او ماو او الحركة الشيوعية سابق
Sep 07, 2014 Jeff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, Sinophiles
Recommended to Jeff by: College professor
Shelves: memoir
I started this book because I had to, not because I wanted to. But before I was half-way through it, I was reading it and recommending it because I loved it, and felt very close to the three women chronicled in it.

It's been a long time since I was a political science undergraduate studying constitutional formation in transitional totalitarian societies, so a lot of the detail about this book escape me. Nevertheless, there's a lot that still stands out and makes me mention this book to anyone and
At a conference dinner some time in the mid-90s, I found myself sitting next to this extremely impressive Chinese woman researcher - bunch of frequently cited publications, well-read in three languages, manages to look gorgeous as well. I cast around for something to say.

"I liked that Wild Swans book," I hazarded. "Do you know it?"

She looked at me scornfully. "Any Chinese woman could have written that!" she replied. "There are a hundred million stories just like it."

I must admit I had a little t
بجعات برية.. الرواية الوثيقة الرواية الملحمة, رواية ليست من طراز الروايات التي نقرأ
رواية تصوّر واقع البؤس الفظيع في العهد الماوّي في الصين , رواية ستطرد النوم من أعينكم واصفة أحداث البؤس والذل والجوع والحرمان و روح الانسان الرخيصة لشعب هائل يمثّل ربع سكان الأرض .. حيث أٌعلنت الثورة الثقافية التي ترأسها ماو ,, بدأت كثورة ضد الفساد والاقطاعية والظلم لكن سرعان ما انقلبت إلى تقديس ماو وحرسه الأحمر و قرارته لتصبح دين وشريعة حياة و كل كلمة ينطقها ماو هي الحقيقة الإلهية, وكل كتاب وكل قصيدة وجريدة و حتى

كنت أحلق عالياً في الجو عندما ولجتُ إلى عالمك يا ( يونغ ) فبينما كانت الطائرة تثير غثياني و تصدر أصواتاً بالغة الإزعاج ، كنت جالسة أضع ( بجعات برية ) أمامي أتأمل غلافه ، لم أكن حينها أعلم بأنني سأستغرق أيضاً رحلتي بطولها في القراءة لأنهي كتابك بينما الطائرة تهبط مُجدداً لتعلن نهاية رحلتي ، كنت أواري دموع النهاية خشية أن يراها أحد فيظن بجنوني الحتمي .
ما زلت تحت تأثير الروعة ، ما زلت أشعر بعنفوان الأحداث تختلج في صدري ، ما زالت الحياة التي عايشتها جدتك وأمك وأنتِ فيّ تصارع لتبقى أطول فترة ممكنة ب
Aisha Almansuor
عندما سمعت عن هذه الرواية اول مره شعرت بأنها من النوع الذي لايروق لي وعندما اخبرتني بها خالتي كنت اشعر بأنها تبالغ في اعجابها وعندما كانت تتحدث عن الوحشية التي تعرض لها الشعب الصيني كنت اعتقد بأنها تبالغ مع ان خالتي ليست من الأشخاص المبالغين في حكمهم على الكتب ولكنني قررت قرائتها عندما اطلعت على على تقييمها هنا لم اكن اعلم ماينتظرني في هذة الرواية من احداث ومفارقات لقد صدمت من كل هذة البشاعة والتمادي في السلطة و هذا الصمت من الشعب والانسياق وراء الكوارث المدمرة لهذه السطة المريضة وعدم الإعتبار م ...more
Jun 04, 2010 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in recent Chinese history.
Recommended to Ed by: Sharon Cutcliffe
What an incredible memoir, covering three generations: the Grandmother, mother and the author herself. Beginning in 1924 and continuing to 1978, it included the Japanese invasion, the Communist victory in 1949 and the Cultural Revolution and its immediate aftermath.

It is almost impossible to comprehend what these people went through and still managed to survive. What is even more astounding is that in many ways they were better off than their compatriots. In U.S. terms they were almost upper mid
Mar 21, 2012 Judy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: folks interested in Maoist Chinese history
Recommended to Judy by: Anne
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China contains the best account of Maoist China that I have read so far. The viewpoint comes from the lineage of three Chinese women and begins before Mao's dictatorship which IMO is a nice touch, because it offers the contrast of the neighborly, respectful, more peaceful China of the past.

This is not a short book, and I found the most I could read at a sitting was three chapters due to the denseness. Perhaps, every reader won't feel that way, but I found myself t
Cheryl S.
Mar 04, 2009 Cheryl S. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all women
Incredible! I am overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy when comparing my life with Jung Chang and can only marvel at the strength of this woman and her family. For the first time I may have some small understanding of what it was really like to live under the rule of Mao. I never cease to be amazed at how a megalomaniac can gain control of a country and no matter how ridiculous or insane his policies are manage to control a vast population by the use of fear.
تاريخ الصين
وسيرة ثلاث نسوة
ومسيرة دولة
كلها انصهرت في هذا الكتاب، لتشكل في قالب روائي، موثق بشهود عيان رأوا بأنفسهم وسمعوا من غيرهم، برواية متواترة وعلو سند
قبل أن تشرع في القراءة
تحتاج لخريطة الصين لتسهل عليك معرفة تنقلات أصحاب الرواية
وتحتاج لتدوين بعض الأسماء لأن أسماء الصينيين مركبة وكثيرا ما تتشابه في التركيب
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Mar 06, 2013 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
Wild Swans is the story of the author's family, the "three daughters" of the subtitle representing three generations. The first, Chang's grandmother, Yu-fang, was born in 1909 into a traditional Imperial China on the brink of great changes. Two years after her birth the centuries old Manchu dynasty came to an end and China became a republic. As a toddler, she was among the last women to endure the practice of crippling footbinding and as a young teen was virtually sold by her father to become a ...more

الصدمة , الدهشة و الذهول ثلاث حالات طبعت نفسيتي و أنا أقرأ هذا الكتاب و لسان حالي يقول : هل أجرؤ على التذمر بعد كل هذه المعاناة التي أقرأ عنها؟؟, لم تكن بجعات برية شهادة حية فقط بل كانت ايضا صرخة و تنبيه لكل العالم دراما لا تشاهد على شاشة التلفاز فنبكي عليها قليلا و ننساها بعد حين بجعات برية ستعيش بداخلي و لفترة طويلة و طويلة جدا , يحكي الكتاب عن تاريخ الصين في العصر الحديث من بداية القرن العشرين الى نهاية الثمانينات حين قررت الكاتبة ان ذكرياتها قد عتقت و اختمرت و انها لن تستطيع ان تتحمل عبئها ل
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Jung Chang (simplified Chinese: 张戎; traditional Chinese: 張戎; pinyin: Zhāng Róng; Wade-Giles: Chang Jung, born March 25, 1952 in Yibin, Sichuan) is a Chinese-born British writer now living in London, best known for her family autobiography Wild Swans, selling over 10 million copies worldwide but banned in mainland China.

See also ユン チアン.
More about Jung Chang...
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“When he asked my grandmother if she would mind being poor, she said she would be happy just to have her daughter and himself: 'If you have love, even plain water is sweet.” 36 likes
“If you have love, even plain cold water is sweet.” 22 likes
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