Wild Swans

  • by Jung Chang
  • Narrated by Joy Osmanski
  • 22 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Few books have had such an impact as Wild Swans: a popular best seller that has sold more than 13 million copies, 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 20th century. Breathtaking in its scope, unforgettable in its descriptions, this masterpiece is extraordinary in every way.

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What the Critics Say

"An inspiring tale of women who survived every kind of hardship, deprivation and political upheaval with their humanity intact." (Hillary Clinton, in O, The Oprah Magazine)
"Wild Swans is riveting. It's blindingly good: a mad adventure story, a fairy tale of courage, and a tale of atrocities. You can't, as they say, put it down. (The New Yorker)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Accurate, moving and chilling

I live in Beijing with my Chinese wife who was a high school student during the Cultural Revolution. I have many Chinese in-laws with first hand experience of the world which June Chang reveals to us. As I listened, I shared the book with them and they ratified its accuracy and approved the pitch perfect truth of the portrayal of the years before the "opening up" which came after the death of Mao. As a result, I experienced the book as an especially dynamic encounter with the personal histories of those around me, and this may be why I can give it five stars.

That said, it is true that the book is exceptionally detailed in its approach, and for some readers this may be excessive. There is, however, so much to recommend this in depth examination of the spiritual, emotional and ethical rape of an entire culture at the behest of one man that I am convinced that most listeners will find the book well worth the hard work. In addition, the narrative is so personal and so steeped in evocative description that it speaks to the heart as powerfully as to the intellect. And if you are willing to be challenged by the question, "What would you have done under these circumstances," you will find Wild Swans a particularly rewarding listen.

Afterwards you might want to find Chang's exhaustively researched "Mao--The Untold Story." A remarkable work.
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- David "Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike."

Wonderful book and great audio-book!

This true account of the lives of the author, her mother, and her grandmother reads like a novel. The story takes the listener through many significant events in modern chinese history through the eyes of these amazing women. You won't be able to stop listening!
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- AEL "I'm an avid reader who doesn't have much time to actually read, now that I am also a mom. Love that so many great books are on audio now!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-13-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio