Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Wild Swans

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 10 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1411
  1. Belinda Magnus, first year GP trainee, Middlesex
  1. bjmagnus{at}

Wild Swans is in the unusual position of being able to market itself as a popular bestseller and as a critically acclaimed history. It tells the story of “three daughters of China”: the grandmother given to a warlord as a concubine, the communist mother, and the daughter, the author herself. Through them this book conveys a deeply personal and yet historically compelling account of the dramatic changes in China over the 20th century. It also effortlessly weaves much medicine into its pages, from strokes to schizophrenia to scleroderma.

As the horrors …

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