The Woman Warrior
Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
Maxine Hong Kingston
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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.
An Instant Favorite
I had the opportunity to read this book for a college multi-cultural literature class and instantly became amazed at unique development of this touching and thought provoking memoir.
Kingston mixes her memories, with chinese talk and ghost stories. The reader often asks the question of what is real and what is reality.
Main themes include: silence, racism , womanhood, parenthood, tradition, assimilation and intelligence.
The actually reading is not difficult, but the themes and elements are. I would recommend this memoir to anyone who is looking to challenge their perceptions of themselves and the perceptions of those they have been touched by. Fantastically haunting and an instant favorite of mine.