3. The sisters Mao
by Gavin McCrea
Against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution and Europe's sexual revolution, the fates of two families in London and Beijing become unexpectedly intertwined, in this dazzling new novel from the author of Mrs Engels . Revolution is a Family Affair. In London, sisters Iris and Eva, members of a radical performance collective, plan an attack on the West End theatre where their mother is playing the title role in Miss Julie . Meanwhile in Beijing, Jiang, Chairman Mao's wife, rehearses a gala performance of her model ballet, The Red Detachment of Women , which she will use in order to attack her enemies in the Party. As the preparations for these two astonishing performances unfold, Iris, Eva, and Jiang are transformed into unforgettable protagonists in a single epic drama. The three 'sisters', although fighting very different personal battles, find themselves bound together by the passions of love, by the obsessions of power, and by the forces of history. Exquisitely observed, relevant, and wise, The Sisters Mao shows us that the political is always personal.