Big Sister Little Sister Red Sister
A major new biography from the internationally bestselling author of Wild Swans, Mao and Empress Dowager Cixi: a gripping story of sisterhood, revolution and betrayal, and three women who helped shape the course of modern Chinese history.
Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister
By Jung Chang
The best-known modern Chinese fairy tale is the story of three sisters from Shanghai, whose lives spanned three centuries. It was said that ‘One loved money, one loved power and one loved her country.’ Big Sister, Ai-ling (1889–1973), would marry China’s richest man, H. H. Kung. The middle sister, Ching-ling (1892–1981) – later known as Red Sister – married Sun Yat-sen, founding father of Modern China and its first president. And Little Sister, May-ling (1898–2003), would become Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife to the leader of the Republic of China.
But these three exceptional women were influential far beyond their associations with powerful men – Red Sister and Little Sister, in particular, became major political figures in their own right. As China weathered a hundred years of wars, seismic revolutions and dramatic transformations, the sisters were at the heart of the country’s tempestuous changes and left an indelible mark on Chinese history. They enjoyed tremendous privilege and glory, but also endured great hardship, heartbreak and danger. The relationship between the three women was highly charged emotionally, and not just because Ching-ling was actively working to destroy the lives of the other two.
This is a gripping story of love, war, exile, intrigue, glamour and betrayal, which takes us from Hawaii to New York, from exiles’ quarters in Japan and Berlin to secret meeting rooms in Moscow, and from the power centre in Beijing to the democratic corridor in Taiwan. In a group biography that is by turns intimate and epic, Jung Chang reveals the lives of three extraordinary women who helped shape the history of twentieth-century China.