Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA NON-FICTION CROWN 2020*
Meet the three women who helped shape the course of modern Chinese history; a gripping story of sisterhood and betrayal from the bestselling author of Wild Swans.
They were the most famous sisters in China. As the country battled seismic transformations these three women left an indelible mark on history.
Red Sister rose to be Mao’s vice-chair.
Little Sister became first lady of pre-Communist Nationalist China.
Big Sister made herself one of country’s richest women.
Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister takes us on a sweeping journey from exiles’ quarters in Japan and Berlin to secret meeting rooms in Moscow, and from the compounds of the Communist elite in Beijing to the corridors of power in democratic Taiwan. By turns intimate and epic, Jung Chang reveals the lives of three extraordinary women who helped shape twentieth-century China.
One of this autumn's biggest reads, it's an astounding story told with verve and insight. * Stylist * Chang is too deft a biographer to tell you how to think. The sisters are sage and foolish, selfless and vain, brave and fearful, loyal and treacherous... It is up to the reader to decide if the Soongs are fairytale princesses or wicked stepsisters... The sisters were divided by politics, united by love. Even as you recoil from their actions, you are moved by their bond. In this lucid, wise, forgiving biography Chang gives a new twist to an old line. Behind every great man... is a Soong sister. -- Laura Freeman * The Times * The Soong sisters were an extraordinary trio... Jung Chang has shown, in books such as Wild Swans, her instinct for a compelling story, and that instinct stands her in good stead here as she weaves her way through the complex history of China from the 1880s to the 1970s... Well worth reading, in particular for the way it shows how powerful women have helped to shape modern China. At a time when, 70 years after Mao's victory, the country's political leadership contains almost no prominent women at all, that is a particularly apposite message to hear. -- Rana Mitter * Sunday Times * Outstanding... As with her previous books, most famously Wild Swans, it is Chang's sympathetic, storyteller's eye - her attention to deeply human detail during the most extraordinary circumstances - that makes her work remarkable. Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister is another triumph. -- William Moore * Evening Standard * Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister is a monumental work, worthy both of Jung Chang's Mao and of the great, rambling, heterogeneous Chinese folk epics of the oral past, such as The Water Margin and The Three Kingdoms. Its three fairy-tale heroines, poised between east and west, spanned three centuries, two continents and a revolution, with consequences that reverberate, perhaps now more than ever, in all our lives to this day. -- Hilary Spurling * Spectator *
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