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.
Maxine gives an overview of the book:
Maxine Hong Kingston was born on October 27th, 1940, in Stockton, California. She was the first of six American-born children; her parents, Tom and Ying Lan Hong, had had two children in China before they came to America. Her mother trained as a midwife in To Keung School of...