The Woman Warrior
Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (Vintage International)
“A classic, for a reason” – Celeste Ng via Twitter
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.
Praise For The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (Vintage International)…
“Remarkable. . . . As an account of growing up female and Chinese-American . . . it is anti-nostalgic. . . . As a dream—of the ‘female avenger’—it is dizzying, elemental, a poem turned into a sword.” —The New York Times
“Superb. . . . We are in the presence of a splendid raconteur, who shares with us the myths and stories that emerge from the lode of a culture’s deepest realities.” —Chicago Tribune
“Triumphant . . . astonishingly accomplished.” —Time
Vintage, 9780679721888, 224pp.
Publication Date: April 23, 1989
About the Author
While in Hawai‘i, Kingston wrote her first two books. The Woman Warrior, her first book, was published in 1976 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award, making her a literary celebrity at age thirty-six. Her second book, China Men, earned the National Book Award. Still today, both books are widely taught in literature and other classes. Kingston has earned additional awards, including the PEN West Award for Fiction for Tripmaster Monkey, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and the National Humanities Medal, which was conferred by President Clinton, as well as the title “Living Treasure of Hawai‘i” bestowed by a Honolulu Buddhist church. Her most recent books include a collection of essays, Hawai‘i One Summer, and latest novel, The Fifth Book of Peace. Kingston is currently Senior Lecturer Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley.