Mao Zedong with his wife Jiang Qing in 1946. Jiang is one of the subjects of Irish writer Gavin McCrea’s novel The Sisters Mao, set in the last days of the Chinese Communist leader’s life and amid the political tumult of 1968 London. Photo: Getty Images Mao Zedong with his wife Jiang Qing in 1946. Jiang is one of the subjects of Irish writer Gavin McCrea’s novel The Sisters Mao, set in the last days of the Chinese Communist leader’s life and amid the political tumult of 1968 London. Photo: Getty Images
Mao Zedong with his wife Jiang Qing in 1946. Jiang is one of the subjects of Irish writer Gavin McCrea’s novel The Sisters Mao, set in the last days of the Chinese Communist leader’s life and amid the political tumult of 1968 London. Photo: Getty Images

The more he read about Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong’s wife, the more Gavin McCrea liked her – ‘the most powerful woman in the world, but in my novel also just living a life’

  • The Sisters Mao takes as one of its themes violence as an expression of political tumult, and interweaves the lives of Jiang and actress sisters in 1968 London
  • Gavin McCrea, who also dramatised the life of Friedrich Engels’ wife, explains what drew him to Madame Mao, a ‘frustrated artist’ who wielded untold power

Topic |   Books and literature
Mao Zedong with his wife Jiang Qing in 1946. Jiang is one of the subjects of Irish writer Gavin McCrea’s novel The Sisters Mao, set in the last days of the Chinese Communist leader’s life and amid the political tumult of 1968 London. Photo: Getty Images Mao Zedong with his wife Jiang Qing in 1946. Jiang is one of the subjects of Irish writer Gavin McCrea’s novel The Sisters Mao, set in the last days of the Chinese Communist leader’s life and amid the political tumult of 1968 London. Photo: Getty Images
Mao Zedong with his wife Jiang Qing in 1946. Jiang is one of the subjects of Irish writer Gavin McCrea’s novel The Sisters Mao, set in the last days of the Chinese Communist leader’s life and amid the political tumult of 1968 London. Photo: Getty Images
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