The Woman Warrior
Maxine Hong Kingston
With an introduction by Xiaolu Guo
A classic memoir set during the Chinese revolution of the 1940s and inspired by folklore, providing a unique insight into the life of an immigrant in America.
When we Chinese girls listened to the adults talking-story, we learned that we failed if we grew up to be but wives or slaves. We could be heroines, swordswomen.
Throughout her childhood, Maxine Hong Kingston listened to her mother's mesmerizing tales of a China where girls are worthless, tradition is exalted and only a strong, wily woman can scratch her way upwards. Growing up in a changing America, surrounded by Chinese myth and memory, this is her story of two cultures and one trenchant, lyrical journey into womanhood.
Complex and beautiful, angry and adoring, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior is a seminal piece of writing about emigration and identity. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976 and is widely hailed as a feminist classic.
This is a delightful book . . . tells more than I ever imagined about the strangeness of being Chinese and a woman; it also gives a superb account of what it's like simply to be alive
Victoria Radin, New Society
A strange, enchanting book . . . As a manual of self-discovery through the channels and terrors of one's own rejected communal memory, it is unbeatable
As a dream - of the "female avenger" - it is dizzying, elemental, a poem turned into a sword . . . reimagining the past with such dark beauty, such precision and anger that you feel you have saddled the Tao dragon and see all through the fiery eye of God
John Leonard, New York Times