Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Smuggling Swans

I think China would be a healthier and stronger place if the truth were open to scrutiny. The Chinese have a right to know what happened to their country and I believe that Chinese society is ready to take this on because facing the truth can’t be as hard as living under him (Mao) ...
Jon Halliday, the historian husband of Jung Chang said to me when I interviewed the couple last year.

Now Chang's best selling biography Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China which tells the story of three generations of women (her grandmother, her mother, and herself) under Mao's regime has finally been translated into Chinese. Chang hopes that, despite the book being banned, copies will find their way into mainland China. Full story in the Guardian.

14 comments:

Chet said...

Sharon - I remember buying a Chinese version of Wild Swans for my sister quite soon after the English version came out. Do you mean the Chinese version is available in China, rather than the book being translated?

bibliobibuli said...

that wasn't an official version perhaps? i'm sure that there were pirated versions but this is changs own translation

Chet said...

That's what I was thinking. And it's probably not pirated, but just an unofficial version. There are pictures in the copy I gave my sister, pictures that are not even in the English version! I must look at my sister's copy again.

bibliobibuli said...

interesting! please do check this out

lil ms d said...

www.threemonkeys.online.com

Lydia Teh said...

Hi Sharon, this is off-topic but I need to get this to you and your readers quick. I'm looking for a title. Could you pls post this as an entry or if you can't just leave it here with this link. Thanks.

http://lydiateh.wordpress.com/

Kak Teh said...

sharon, am back in london now. I bought the book when it first came out - mainly to have something to read in the train from London to Liverpool. I finished it on the way back...one unputdownable book!

bibliobibuli said...

ms d - many thanks - that's a lovely website

lydia - done

kak teh - i think so too

Chet said...

kak teh and Sharon - Wild Swans? Totally agree.

Dean said...

God. Christ. F**k. Damn. It's about time someone put their shoulder to the wheel and made moves to change the regime in that abominable country. Thank heaven for these people.

acid burn said...

I read this book when I was in primary school! haha.. I guess my mind couldn't really understand a lot of stuff in the book back then coz I can't remember much of it. Maybe I'll re-read it some day..

Chet said...

Sharon - I've got hold of my sister's Chinese copy of Wild Swans. The info page notes that the Chinese translation is permitted by Jung Chang, and that the Chinese translation copyright is owned by Jung Chang. There's a picture in the Chinese translation that's not in the English version.

bibliobibuli said...

acid burn - it was really precocious you to attempt this in primary school!

chet - that's really interesting ... there has been not a mention of a previous chinese version of the book in any of the interviews (i read a whole lot online yesterday to check) - wonder how much the two versions will differ?

Chet said...

My sister did say it was published by a Taiwanese publisher. What's interesting is that the Chinese translation has the same year of copyright as the English version - 1992. Maybe Jung Chang wrote part (or maybe all) of it in Chinese, since that's her first language (she mentioned learning English in the book), and translated it into English with her husband's help?