by Jung Chang
In Wild Swans, Chang tells the autobiographical story of three generations of Chinese women, her Grandmother, a warlord's concubine, her mother, a high level communist official and herself and their struggles throughout the 20th century. The story focuses mostly on Chang's family struggle and persecutions throughout the cultural revolution where, prior to, her parents held powerful positions. Through Chairman Mao's policies this powerful family suffered greatly so it is unimaginable how much peasants must have suffered at this time. Through the book the author tries to tow the communist party line but slowly begins to realize that it is her own government that is causing the suffering that she has seen and and has endured. Toward the end of the book, after Mao's death, the government starts to open up a bit and the author leaves China to attend university in England where she she still resides and is currently the director of Chinese studies at London University. This book is not really an easy read but it really gives you a sense of the struggles that even this politically connected family endured during the very recent past. Makes you really feel for what the peasants had to deal with during this time.