In her award-winning book The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston created an entirely new form—an exhilarating blend of autobiography and mythology, of world and self, of hot rage and cool analysis. First published in 1976, it has become a classic in its innovative portrayal of multiple and intersecting identities—immigrant, female, Chinese, American. As a girl, Kingston lives in two confounding worlds: the California to which her parents have immigrated and the China of her mother’s “talk stories.” The fierce and wily women warriors of her mother’s tales clash jarringly with the harsh reality of female oppression out of which they come. Kingston’s sense of self emerges in the mystifying gaps in these stories, which she learns to fill with stories of her own. A warrior of words, she forges fractured myths and memories into an incandescent whole, achieving a new understanding of her family’s past and her own present.
maxine hong kingston s the woman warrior
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With the continued expansion of the literary canon, multicultural works of modern literary fiction and autobiography have assumed an increasing importance for students and scholars of American literature. This exciting new series assembles key documents and criticism concerning these works that have so recently become central components of the American literature curriculum. Each casebook will reprint documents relating to the work's historical context and reception, present the best in critical essays, and when possible, feature an interview of the author. The series will provide, for the first time, an accessible forum in which readers can come to a fuller understanding of these contemporary masterpieces and the unique aspects of American ethnic, racial, or cultural experience that they so ably portray. This case book presents a thought-provoking overview of critical debates surrounding The Woman Warrior, perhaps the best known Asian American literary work. The essays deal with such issues as the reception by various interpretive communities, canon formation, cultural authenticity, fictionality in autobiography, and feminist and poststructuralist subjectivity. The eight essays are supplemented an interview with the author and a bibliography.
Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts is “assembling [...] a distinct sense of self from the raw material of the lives and imaginations of countless other women of Chinese descent, a self-hood that must separate itself to appreciate the collective fabric it’s made of, and that is driven, further, to address the world at large.” This term paper discusses the novel The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts written by Maxine Hong Kingston in 1975 and its theme of silence and voicelessness in close connection to the author’s struggle to find her own identity as a Chinese American. I argue that Kingston employs the theme of silence in order to find her own voice as a Chinese woman living in an American society. Her quest starts with the words “’You must not tell anyone,’” but Kingston does exactly the opposite of this by telling her readers stories which were not to be told: of her dead aunt, her mother’s Chinese village, another aunt, who struggles with life in America, and finally her own struggle in finding her voice, i.e. her identity, within Chinese and American society. Therefore, Kingston is portraying a journey from voicelessness to voice. She begins with depicting “enforced silence” in the first chapter. In the end, the protagonist has overcome her struggle of identity and found her own voice. In addition, Kingston entwines her stories around the motif of translation in order to find her unique self. Altogether, this term paper argues that Maxine Hong Kingston portrays her struggle of finding her own identity by employing the motif of translation in combination with the theme of silence. By doing so Kingston uses language as a tool in order to constitute her own identity. The motif of translation is particularly important because Kingston’s finds her ‘American identity’ through the translation of traditional Chinese stories and myths. In this term paper I will, therefore, discuss the beginnings of Kingston’s silence, as well as the conflict between Chinese tradition and the American way of life in order to support the thesis mentioned above.
This book is a collection of recent scholarship on Maxine Hong Kingston, gathered on the occasion of the very first conference ever devoted exclusively to Kingston and to celebrate her opera omnia. Featuring the work of researchers from four continents, the book represents the cosmopolitan reception of the most important Asian American author. In addition to many new angles on her two canonical postmodern autobiographies, The Woman Warrior and China Men, this collection also tackles Kingston's less frequently discussed writings and her most recent publications. Parallel readings and comparisons further test her legacy in the sense of her enduring influence on younger Asian American writers. Though it is a conference book, this peer-reviewed volume includes additional articles by selected scholars. It also contains original presentations by Maxine and her husband Earll Kingston. (Series: Contributions to Asian American Literary Studies - Vol. 7)
In 1976 Maxine Hong Kingston burst into American literature with the publication of The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. Since then her subsequent works--China Men (1980) and Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book (1989)--have startled readers with their complex projections of Asian-American life as a bi-cultural and bilingual adventure filled with contemporary confusions and ancient legends, inherited values, and new loyalties. Kingston has written of her family upbringing in Stockton, California, of the stories her mother told her as advice and warning, of her father's illegal arrival in the United States, of the exploits of grandfathers who worked on the rails in California, of San Francisco street life in the 1960s, and of traditional Chinese legends. Whatever her subject, she claims America for herself and other Asian Americans whose histories are an essential part of the larger American tapestry. In this collection of interviews Kingston talks about her life, her writing, and her objectives. From the first, her books have hovered along the hazy line between fiction and nonfiction, memoir and imagination. As she answers her critics and readers, she both clarifies the differences and exults in the difficulties of distinguishing between the remembered and the re-created. She explains how she worked to bridge her parents' Chinese dialect with American slang, how she learned to explore her inheritance and find new relevance in her mother's "talk stories," and how she developed the complex juxtapositions of myths and memoir that fill her books. Always savvy, often provocative, constantly amused and amusing, Kingston provides a vivid commentary on her writing and offers insight into a body of her work.
The first book-length work to examine the entirety of Kingston's unique literary career
Examines the fiction and role in introducing the Asian American experience to mainstream readers through Maxine Hong Kinston and her three narrative works.
The numerous studies of Maxine Hong Kingston's touchstone work The Woman Warrior fail to take into account the stories in China Men, which were largely written together with those in The Woman Warrior but later published separately. Although Hong Kingston's decision to separate the male and female narratives enabled readers to see the strength of the resulting feminist point of view in The Woman Warrior, the author has steadily maintained that to understand the book fully it was necessary to read its male companion text. Maureen Sabine's ambitious study of The Woman Warrior and China Men aims to bring these divided texts back together with a close reading that looks for the textual traces of the father in The Woman Warrior and shows how the daughter narrator tracks down his history in China Men. She considers theories of intertextuality that open up the possibility of a dynamic interplay between the two books and suggests that the Hong family women and men may be struggling for dialogue with each other even when they appear textually silent or apart.
I have almost finished my longbook, Maxine Hong Kingston declares. "Let my life as Poet begin...I won't be a workhorse anymore; I'll be a skylark." To Be the Poet is Kingston's manifesto, the avowal and declaration of a writer who has devoted a good part of her sixty years to writing prose, and who, over the course of this spirited and inspiring book, works out what the rest of her life will be, in poetry.
Part of the "Contemporary World Writers" series, this book talks about Maxine Hong Kingston - one of America's most successful writers. It covers Maxine Hong Kingston's works, including her fiction and non-fiction works.