Spectator Books: China's founding sisters

Oct 09, 01:09 PM
In this week’s Spectator Books podcast Sam's guest is Jung Chang — whose latest book is the gripping story of three sisters whose political differences put the Mitford even the Johnson clans in perspective. In Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister, Jung narrates the lives of the Soong Girls — one of whom was married to Chiang Kai-shek, another of whom became one of the richest women in the world and helped run Chiang’s government; and the other one of whom (the widow of the founding father of modern China, Sun Yatsen) threw her lot in with Chiang’s deadly enemy and eventual usurper, Mao Zedong. Every family has its little ups and downs! In the episode, Jung describes how — amazingly — the three sisters never stopped being close; the role they took in China’s turbulent 20th century; and the human story behind it. Including the birthday present that showed Chiang Kai-Shek’s romantic side…

Spectator Books is a series of literary interviews and discussions on the latest releases in the world of publishing, from poetry through to physics. Presented by Sam Leith, The Spectator's Literary Editor. Hear past episodes of Spectator Books here.