Wild Swans

Wild Swans

Jung Chang

Pub date
B Format 129x198mm
704 pages
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Book Overview

Introducing the Collins Modern Classics, a series featuring some of the most significant books of recent times, books that shed light on the human experience – classics which will endure for generations to come.

Few books have had such an impact as Wild Swans: a popular bestseller which has sold more than 13 million copies and a critically acclaimed history of China; a tragic tale of nightmarish cruelty and an uplifting story of bravery and survival.

Through the story of three generations of women in her own family – the grandmother given to the warlord as a concubine, the Communist mother and the daughter herself – Jung Chang reveals the epic history of China’s twentieth century.

Breathtaking in its scope, unforgettable in its descriptions, this is a masterpiece which is extraordinary in every way.

About the author

Jung Chang was born in Sichuan Province, China, in 1952.During the Cultural Revolution she worked as a peasant, a ‘barefoot doctor’, a steelworker and an electrician. She came to Britain in 1978, and in 1982 became the first person from the People’s Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British university. She lives in London. In addition to Wild Swans, Jung Chang has written three critically acclaimed biographies: Mao: The Unknown Story (with Jon Halliday); Empress Dowage Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China, 2013); and Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China (2019).


  • ‘Riveting; an extraordinary epic’ Mail on Sunday
  • ‘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 Marrin, Sunday Telegraph
  • ‘Immensely moving and unsettling; an unforgettable portrait of the brain-death of a nation’ J.G. Ballard, Sunday 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 Amis, Independent on Sunday
  • ‘There has never been a book like this’ Edward Behr, Los Angeles Times