Home > English Language, Humanities, Multiculturality > Maxine Hong Kingston, a woman who never tires

Maxine Hong Kingston, a woman who never tires

I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes – The Woman Warrior

Maxine Hong Kingston is a Chinese-American writer, best known for being the author of The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, a memoir discussing concepts of gender, ethnicity and identity. Using a revolutionary dream-like writing style she has written several novels and essays, combining autobiography and Chinese folktales, as Kristopher Fortin explains.

As The New York Times said in 1976 about The Woman Warrior, her work is

[…] an investigation of soul . . . Its sources are dream and memory, myth and desire. Its crises are crises of the heart in exile from roots that bind and terrorize it.

Maxine is the eldest of six American-born children of Chinese immigrant parents. Her father went to New York City in 1924 and started working in a laundry although he was a scholar. Kingston’s mother joined her husband in the US in 1939.

Kingston was born in October 27, 1940 in Stockton, California. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, as a scholarship student, and graduated in 1962. There she met Earll Kingston, an actor who married to in 1962.

The Woman Warrior, Memoirs of a Girl Among Ghosts, her first book, was published in 1976. It combines myth, family history, folktales and memories of her girlhood between Chinese and Western culture. The narrative was immediately welcome, and won the 1976 National Book Critics’ Circle Award for nonfiction, making her an instant celebrity at age 36.

According to Julian Guthrie, the book

assailed by some as “un-Chinese,” was hailed by others for everything from its magical realist style to its breakthrough explorations of gender, ethnicity and immigrant life.

Kingston has published more narratives, articles, essays and poems during her career. Here you have a list of her works apart from The Woman Warrior, 1976:

Over her career, she has been awarded many times. Among her most important recognitions there can be found the following ones:

So that it would be very interesting to attend to:

  • the speech the author had at Berkeley in 11th April 2011:

Kingston also communicates in the web, although she has not her own official page or blog. She also makes use of social networks; here you could visit her Facebook profile.

If you want to know more about…

References:

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