The Woman Warrior (1976)
in Maxine Hong Kingston
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Much of the critical debate surrounding The Woman Warrior has centred upon the book's troubling generic status. Ostensibly a memoir—the subtitle is ‘Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts’—the book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, but it blends together elements of several genres, including fiction, myth, auto/biography and memoir, in a manner that is not easily categorised. Ultimately, for Maxine Hong Kingston, the talk-story form becomes a new kind of genre, one malleable to her own purposes.


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