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Creative Background

Wild Swans is a memoir by Chinese author Jung Chang, first published in 1991. It chronicles the lives of three generations of women in Chang's family: her grandmother, her mother, and herself. Set against the backdrop of China's tumultuous history, from the early 20th century through the Cultural Revolution, the book provides a personal and vivid portrayal of the challenges and changes that shaped their lives.

The creation of Wild Swans was inspired by Chang's desire to share the extraordinary stories of her family and the historical events they lived through. Growing up during the Cultural Revolution, Chang witnessed first-hand the impact of political upheaval on ordinary people's lives. After moving to England in 1978 to study, she gained a broader perspective on China's history and the personal stories that often go untold. This inspired her to write Wild Swans, which not only serves as a memoir but also as a historical account of China's complex past.

The book's title, Wild Swans, symbolizes the strength and resilience of the women in Chang's family, as well as the beauty and freedom that they yearned for in times of adversity. The success of Wild Swans lies in its ability to weave personal narratives with historical events, providing readers with an intimate and compelling view of China's history through the eyes of those who lived it.