The Wild Swans - YouTube
Elise, a princess, lives happily together with her eleven brothers. When her father, the king, marries again, he banishes Elisa. Hereafter his new wife turns Elise's eleven brothers into swans. But fortunately Elise finds her brothers, who are swans

Elise, a princess, lives happily together with her eleven brothers. When her father, the king, marries again, he banishes Elisa. Hereafter his new wife turns Elise's eleven brothers into swans. But fortunately Elise finds her brothers, who are swans during daylight and human beings at night time. In a dream, the fairy Fatamorgana tells the story of the unhappy princess and how she rescues her brothers, the eleven princes.

Elise, a princess, lives happily together with her eleven brothers. When her father, the king, marries again, he banishes Elisa. Hereafter his new wife turns Elise's eleven brothers into swans. But fortunately Elise finds her brothers, who are swans during daylight and human beings at night time. In a dream, the fairy Fatamorgana tells the story of the unhappy princess and how she rescues her brothers, the eleven princes.

It is 35 years since Jung Chang arrived in Britain from Communist China and 22 years since the publication of Wild Swans , her bestselling memoir. She is 61 now. And yet the figure picking her away across the hotel restaurant looks, from a distance, like a young girl.

She is wearing a short white dress, cinched at the waist with a wide belt, and high, strappy beige boots cut out at the toe. Her hair is long and black, youthfully half-bunched, and her face seems unlined.

The venue – the five-star Royal Garden Hotel in London – was chosen by her. It is an imposing establishment. A single orchid floats in a glass bowl on the table, the waiting staff give small bows. I am expecting Chang to be as grand, or at least to wear a certain pre-eminence on her sleeve. She has earned the right.

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