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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
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.

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Helena Grice

resources available for readers of African American, say, or Native American writing. In the context of the canon of Asian American writing by women, the publication of The Woman Warrior , in 1976, precipitated an intense period of growth, and The Woman Warrior swiftly became the first classic of Asian American literature. Since that time, something of a revolution has occurred in the development and visibility of both ethnic writing by women generally (the popularity of the African American writers Alice Walker and Toni Morrison are such examples), and the specific

in Maxine Hong Kingston
Helena Grice

Ruth-Anne Lumm McKunn just came out with her book on Chinese families. Jessica Hagedorn’s in the spring, and Bharati Mukherjee is in the fall. She won the National Book Circle Critics Award. Something great must be going on’. 1 In 1990 she acknowledged that ‘I do think I probably helped to inspire [this]’. 2 Some fourteen years later, her long awaited fifth book, appropriately entitled The Fifth Book of Peace , already promises to spawn as much critical debate, even controversy, as her earlier work. Since the publication of The Woman Warrior in 1976, Maxine Hong

in Maxine Hong Kingston
Helena Grice

’s writing, as she remarks: The whole question of war and peace begins in The Woman Warrior … That little child is really worried. There’s bombs going off. What war is this? How come is this called World War Two? Was there a One? Will there be a Three? What’s going on here? And I write about the trauma of seeing my first movie, which was a war movie. I’m wasting all my wishes on war. And so I see that I have had the same concerns from the very start and I’m bringing them more and more into mature thinking. 8 The Fifth

in Maxine Hong Kingston
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Helena Grice

Gold mountain heroes T he original title of Maxine Hong Kingston’s second book was not ‘China Men’ but ‘Gold Mountain Heroes’. Kingston’s decision to call her first draft by this name was linked to her desire to tell her male and female ancestors’ stories separately, because ‘ The Woman Warrior seemed to break itself away naturally from the rest of the chapters probably because of its strong feminist viewpoint. Some of the “hero” chapters undermined this viewpoint’. 3 This might suggest that the material that comprised China Men

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

the visiting writer in Hawai‘i is of an artist retreating from urban, mainland America to the balm of the islands. 30 Kingston’s Hawai‘i: The Woman Warrior and China Men This debate on belonging, ownership, exclusion and literary production prefigures, of course, the intense scrutiny Kingston’s work was to receive across the water in California a decade later when she was viciously attacked, in 1984 and 1991 respectively, by the Chinese American writer Frank Chin for the ‘fakery’ of her writing in The Woman

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
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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
Jonathan D. Spence

account of her return to China and of her failure to rediscover there any values she believed she had lost (in her case though she had lived a long time in the USA she wrote in Chinese and the works were then translated into English). Or one might adapt a new genre, such as the mixed memoir-fiction-history form developed by Maxine Hong Kingston in Woman Warrior (1976). Here a girlhood in Stockton, California

in Asia in Western fiction