Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

7 of 34
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
538 pages; Touchstone

Because we got a literary visa to a long-hidden part of the world.

Chang's memoir reads like a blockbuster multigenerational novel, but it's true. Her grandmother, Yu-fang, escaped from a brothel and "marriage" to a warlord on bound feet. Her mother, Bao Qin, became a communist party official and was later sent to a detention camp while her father, also a communist official, was denounced and died a broken man. Through this portrait of her family, Chang paints a picture of mid-20th-century China, the suffering of its people and the resilience of women everywhere.
— Dawn Raffel