The Woman Warrior is a pungent, bitter, but beautifully written memoir of growing up Chinese American in Stockton, California. Maxine Hong Kingston (China Men) distills the dire lessons of her mother’s mesmerizing “talk-story” tales of a China where girls are worthless, tradition is exalted and only a strong, wily woman can scratch her way upward. The author’s America is a landscape of confounding white “ghosts”—the policeman ghost, the social worker ghost—with equally rigid, but very different rules. Like the woman warrior of the title, Kingston carries the crimes against her family carved into her back by her parents in testimony to and defiance of the pain.
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...