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Author: Helena Grice

Since the publication of The Woman Warrior in 1976, Maxine Hong Kingston has gained a reputation as one of the most popular—and controversial—writers in the Asian American literary tradition. This book traces her development as a writer and cultural activist through both ethnic and feminist discourses, investigating her novels, occasional writings, and her two-book ‘life-writing project’. The publication of The Woman Warrior not only propelled Kingston into the mainstream literary limelight, but also precipitated a vicious and ongoing controversy in Asian American letters over the authenticity—or fakery—of her cultural references. This book traces the debates through the appearance of China Men (1981), as well as the novel Tripmaster Monkey (1989) and her most recent work The Fifth Book of Peace.

Helena Grice

I want to change the world through artistic pacifist means. (Maxine Hong Kingston, 1991) ‘The beginning is hers’: the political and literary legacies of Maxine Hong Kingston In 1989, Maxine Hong Kingston expressed her pleasure at the blossoming of Asian American literature: ‘Something wonderful is happening right at this moment … Amy Tan published The Joy Luck Club , and Hisaye Yamamoto published Seventeen Syllables , Frank Chin has a collection of short stories, and I think maybe

in Maxine Hong Kingston
Helena Grice

The images of peace are ephemeral. The language of peace is subtle. The reasons for peace, the definitions of peace, the very idea of peace have to be invented, and invented again. (Epilogue, The Fifth Book of Peace , p. 402) Kingston has made the experience of war a central focus of her literary career. (Deborah Madsen, Maxine Hong Kingston , p. 14) This chapter examines Maxine Hong Kingston’s latest novel, The Fifth Book of Peace (2003), and suggests that in addition to her

in Maxine Hong Kingston
Helena Grice

Politically and socially … I look at myself as being very much a feminist. Growing up as I did as a kid, I don’t see how I could not have been a feminist. In Chinese culture, people always talk about how girls are bad. When you hear that, right away it makes you radical like anything. (Maxine Hong Kingston) 1 M aureen Sabine’s innovative 2004 study of The Woman Warrior and China Men, Maxine Hong Kingston’s Broken Book of Life: An Intertextual Study , explores the disproportionate strength of the feminist

in Maxine Hong Kingston
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Helena Grice

Chinese American history is a history of separation; there was a women’s culture of waiting in China and a men’s culture – Chinaman in America. (Maxine Hong Kingston, ‘The Gold Mountain Man’) 1 When I say I am a native American with all the rights of an American, I am saying, ‘No, we’re not outsiders; we Chinese belong here. This is our country, this is our history, we are a part of America. If it weren’t for us, America would be a different place’. (Maxine Hong Kingston, Interview with Marilyn Yalom) 2

in Maxine Hong Kingston
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Helena Grice

coincides with the surge in popularity of ethnic women’s writing in recent decades. There has thus been a consistent scholarly interest in Maxine Hong Kingston’s work, but this has tended to concentrate upon her now-notorious feud with fellow Chinese American writer, Frank Chin (eg Wong 1992), or has explored the vexed issue of The Woman Warrior ’s generic status (eg Lidoff 1987; Smith 1987), or has included Kingston in delineations of the development of Asian American literature (eg Lim and Ling 1992; Cheung 1997), or Asian American women

in Maxine Hong Kingston
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His Fake Book (1989)
Helena Grice

I wanted to sing the Chinese American self. (Maxine Hong Kingston, ‘Talking with the Woman Warrior’ (1989)) In the novel which I’m working on now, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book , my 23-year-old protagonist, Wittman Ah Sing, works to bring theater back to life. He imagines its beginnings in mythic China, but all the while alarmed that his roots are too exotic and non-American. I mean for Wittman to have a slangy, hip style. I hope that you hear a voice that is very different from the ones I’ve used before

in Maxine Hong Kingston
Hawai‘i One Summer (1987/1998)
Helena Grice

What thick novels I could brood up here with no interrupting chapter breaks but one long thought from front to back cover. ( Hawai‘i One Summer , p. 3) 1 It may be here that one can best sense the impact on Kingston of fame and prominence, the payoff and the price of parting the black curtains of silence. (Diane Simmons, Maxine Hong Kingston , p. 22) P ublished in the wake of her first literary success, but reissued in 1988, Hawai‘i One Summer reminds us of Kingston’s strong

in Maxine Hong Kingston
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Susana Onega

terms overlap and intersect,’3 while Lauren Rusk saw her as belonging in an international trend, also exemplified by Woolf, James Baldwin and Maxine Hong Kingston, representing what Rusk calls The Life Writing conclusion.qxd 2/2/06 Conclusion 2:02 pm Page 227 227 of Otherness.4 Although different in many respects, these essays share a crucial concern with the analysis of subjectivity in Winterson’s work, perceived as marginal and/or fragmented, no matter whether the marginality and fragmentariness stem from the characters’ lesbianism or simply from their

in Jeanette Winterson
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Family, gender and post-colonial issues in three Vietnam War texts
Marion Gibson

words of Chapter i. ‘I was a girl’, she explains, ‘Everybody wanted sons and brothers, not daughters and sisters.’ 58 She was expected to marry, entering a period of subjection to her new family. As for other female East Asian writers, such as Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston, there was an alternative myth of woman warriors 59 (Le Ly’s ancestor Phung Thi Chinh), but whilst her father told her this

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century