The first book-length work to examine the entirety of Kingston's unique literary career
understanding maxine hong kingston
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Examines the fiction and role in introducing the Asian American experience to mainstream readers through Maxine Hong Kinston and her three narrative works.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Collects reviews and essays considering Kingston's three book-length works-- The Woman Warrior (1976), China Men (1980) and Tripmaster Monkey (1989). Excepting a few pieces written specifically for this book, most appeared in the New York Times, The New Republic, various journals (including MELUS), and in other critical works. The editor includes an interview with Kingston, an overview of her methodology and accomplishments, and Kingston's response to reviews of The Woman Warrior: Cultural Mis-readings by American Reviewers. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR