Maxine Hong Kingston
b. 1940

MAXINE HONG KINGSTON was born October 27, 1940, in Stockton, California, the daughter of Chinese immigrants Tom and Ying Lan Hong, who owned and operated a laundry. Aside from attending school and helping with the family business, Maxine spent her free time reading the literary classics her parents had brought from China and attending movies, mostly Chinese operas, at the local Confucian Church. The Kingstons' tradition of passing down myths and family history profoundly influenced the future author, who would incorporate much of these memories into her novels.

In 1962, Maxine graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor's degree and married actor Earll Kingston, with whom she has had one son. She then taught high school English and mathematics in California and Hawaii until the publication of her first book, The Woman Warrior, in 1976. At the narrative core of the book is Brave Orchid, a fictionalized characterization of Kingston's mother; the text is in fact populated with numerous characters drawn from the Chinese-American community of Kingston's youth. While critical of Chinese traditions, Kingston also disassembles classic stereotypes of Chinese Americans. At once a novel, an autobiography, a fairytale, and an epic poem, The Woman Warrior constitutes a genre unto itself. Its original narrative style and exploration of gender and generational conflicts garnered considerable critical acclaim, culminating with the 1976 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction.

In 1980, Kingston published a companion piece to The Woman Warrior called China Men, in which men are the chief characters. Beginning with the story of the author's father, the poetic narrative explores themes of emigration, ritual, struggle, persecution, and assimilation. Again her literary talents were lauded, and she received the American Book Award for general nonfiction. Her latest novel, Tripmaster Monkey, shows off her unique skill of blending, in the words of Herbert Gold in his review for Tribune Books, "the kind of magic realism familiar to readers of Latin American fiction with the hard-edged black humor of flower-epoch comic writers and performers."

Kingston's honors include the Anisfield-Wolf Race Relations Award in 1978, the American Library Association Notable Books List in 1980, and the Hawaii Writers Award in 1983. Her poetry and nonfiction articles have been published in academic and mainstream peri

-37-

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Asian American Women Writers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Asian‐ American Women Writers *
  • Contents *
  • The Analysis of Women Writers xi
  • Introduction xv
  • Diana Chang B. 1934 1
  • Edith Maude Eaton 1865-1914 Winnifred Eaton 1875-1954 14
  • Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn B. 1949 28
  • Maxine Hong Kingston B. 1940 37
  • Joy Kogawa B. 1935 53
  • Bharati Mukherjee B. 1938 68
  • Amy Tan B. 1952 81
  • Linda Ty-Casper B. 1931 98
  • Jade Snow Wong B. 1919 110
  • Hisaye Yamamoto B. 1921 121
  • Wakako Yamauchi B. 1924 133
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