"Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes," said the actor Jim Carrey. As the historical contributions of women are increasingly recognized across the globe, in "Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister" author Jung Chang sheds new light on three Chinese women, each of whom could be forgiven for their own share of eyerolling.

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister, by Jung Chang.374 pagesKNOPF, Nonfiction.

The eponymous trio — perhaps the most famous sisters in Chinese history — hailed from Shanghai's wealthy Soong family, which also counted three sons.