A True Story of War, Love, and Survival
By Dean King
(Back Bay Books, Paperback, 9780316167093, 448pp.)
Publication Date: July 2011
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In October 1934, 30 brave Chinese women left their respective homes to join the Chinese Communist Army and march against the hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers who had surrounded them. Together with 86,000 Red Army soldiers-including future Chinese leaders Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Zhou Enlai-these women embarked on an epic escape, covering more than 4,000 brutal miles in the course of one year. The journey would be one of the most horrific in history, but remarkably almost every woman would live to tell the tale. And then they were forgotten. In UNBOUND Dean King reveals the astonishing true story of this tiny group of revolutionaries. A landmark piece of historical detective work and dramatic storytelling, King's book is an unforgettable tale of love, friendship, and survival against all odds.
Dean King is the author of the national bestseller Skeletons on the Zahara. He has written for many publications, including Men's Journal, Esquire, Garden & Gun, Granta, Outside, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.
"King spent five years traveling the length of the Long March, interviewing those women still alive to tell their tales. Theirs are stories of courage, remarkable not only because of the physical and psychological rigors of their journey, but also because of their determination...China has always been a mysterious and secretive empire, but Unbound peels back the curtain to reveal a story of strength and survival." —John T. Slania, Bookpage
"Fascinating...King, the best-selling author of Skeletons on the Zahara, has done brilliant work bringing the march to life with a plethora of vivid, well-researched details...Unbound is an authoritative account of the Long March, but its evocations of the marchers' experiences will linger long after the historical details slip from readers' memories."—Doug Childers, The Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Unbound recounts the amazing journey that 30 women and 86,000 men took in an effort to escape Chaing Kai-shek's advancing soldiers...Threading the narratives of the women's individual stories, women's place in China at the time, and the progress of the March with an overall picture of modern Chinese history, King gives readers a unique look at a turning point for [China].—Olivia Flores Alvarez, The Houston Press
"A terrific feminist story and a significant document of this incredible human feat."—Kirkus Reviews
"Unbound is a relentless, gripping story of superhuman endurance, of a refusal to accept defeat...King's book is an exhaustive and excellent study of these women and their hard road to equality and freedom...These women, whose blood and sweat helped build a modern nation, truly walked the walk."—Howard Owen, Fredericksburg.com