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This was not at all what I was expecting from something calling itself a memoir. Initially I was a little put off, confused by what I was reading, though I didn't dislike the writing; but after settling back and adapting myself to the more original manner in which it was written, I enjoyed it for what it was. I think it provided an interesting glimpse into a life as an American-born Chinese.

That weird zone of having parents from one culture, while growing up in a place completely different, the two not understanding each other at all, and the children therefore not really fitting into either one. There were some sad bits, some amusing bits, some Overall a provocative engaging read. I would recommend it, just with the warning to know going into it you're not getting some kind of straight-forward biography type thing.

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LibraryThing member Kayla-Marie. Maxine Hong Kingston writes a very imaginative memoir that ends with Kingston's discovery of her voice and her journey towards wholeness. She interweaves stories of her mother and her aunts, as well as Chinese legends most notably, a unique take on the Fa Mu Lan legend as told to her by her mother when she was a young girl. She includes many desriptions of Chinese traditions and behaviors, often comparing Chinese and American culture, which I found quite interesting.

Her writing is beautiful.

Woman Warrior Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

She uses a lot of creative license in this memoir. The reason why my rating is not higher than it is is because this novel read very slowly for me. It would take me an hour to read 30 pages. I am not sure why that is.

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Perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood to read this memoir or maybe it was because it deviated so much from what I was expecting from a book classified as nonfiction it could possibly be both these things since the two can be connected very easily. The author speculates a lot on the stories her mother told her and sometimes she will create her own fictional endings to the stories from her family history.

She will imagine a story that she actually knows very little details of and make it into a complex narrative. The insertion of Chinese legends also takes away from the nonfictional aspects of the memoir. I know authors are given a creative license in their memoirs, but I think Kingston went a little overboard.

I also have a difficult time referring to this novel as a memoir. My definition of a memoir is an account of a significant moment in the author's own life, so I believed that Kingston would focus on herself and her experiences. However, she rarely talks about herself at all except in the last chapter. Instead, she chooses to focus on the women in her family, particularly her mother and two of her aunts one from each side of her family.

Most of the stories she recounts happened before she was born or were ones she wasn't there to witness first-hand. The stories are known to her second-hand, mostly told to her by her mother. This offered great insight into Chinese culture from around the early to mids, but I feel like I didn't get to know the author too well. However, despite all of this, I would recommend this book. It is a beautifully written and imaginative piece of work. I may suggest reading it as a semi-autobiographical historical fiction novel rather than as a nonfiction memoir, though. LibraryThing member Stevil This is the memoir of a Chinese-American girl, primarily concerning her relationship with her mother.

I loved it. It's a great set of stories about cultural assimilation, about trying to bridge yourself between two worlds, the world of your family and the world everyone else belongs to. How do you make sense of what your mother tells you when everyone else tells you something else? Kingston works these stories into her own life in a variety of fashions, whether it be imagining what life was like back in China and what significance it has for her, or weaving her own experiences into the legend of Fa Mu Lan.

But when you come down to it, there's a level on which all the cultural stuff it just trappings; this is the tale of a child trying to figure out her parents, a tale of us have to reenact in our own lives. Kingston does her best, and the result is a compelling portrait of a woman filled with contradictions, a woman who shaped Kingston in ways she had never imagined.

LibraryThing member eesti The Woman Warrior creates an account of a girl who grows up in America amongst her Chinese family and community. The novel moves from point to point in time, mainly in a story-telling type way. Stories about older relatives lives in China are mixed with stories of life in America and this at times can be a bit challenging to follow.

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Each chapter, whilst semi-independent, does flow together with the other chapters creating a satisfied feeling at the end. Some chapters were much more enjoyable to read, in my opinion, than others - in particular the one about Maxine's mother becoming a doctor and when Maxine's Aunt came to stay with them in America. A surprisingly enjoyable read, especially once you get a bit further into the book. LibraryThing member tronella. Interesting memoir of a Chinese-American woman and the stories told to her by her mother. I enjoyed it.

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LibraryThing member Czrbr. Memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts. Sources are dream and memory, myth and desire,. LibraryThing member cestovatela. Kingston writes about how her isolating experiences as a Chinese girl among American classmates, but what struck me was the universality of her story.

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This is a story that anyone who's ever felt stifled or shy can relate to, or anyone whose family is full secrets or been touched by mental illness Bonus points for including loads of Chinese folklore to distinguish this from dozens of other "daughter of China" books. LibraryThing member StefanY. This collection of Chinese folklore is also a complex soul-searching journey for the author in which she delves into the folklore of her Chinese heritage that has been imparted to her over the years mainly by her mother and assesses how these tales relate to her own inner self in the way that she has been raised by her parents and also in the way that she has grown both within and apart from these cultural boundaries.

The stories themselves are fairly interesting and entertaining, but what really makes this book noteworthy is the introspection of the author as a Chines-American woman growing up within two separate cultures in the 's and the inner strength and courage that she develops throughout this growing-up process.

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While it was a bit outside of my comfort zone at times, I really appreciated this book for the honesty and sincerity of the author and the courage that it took to put all of her internal feelings and thoughts out into the ope for all to see. LibraryThing member juniperSun. Kingston keeps us a bit unsure of what is story and what is real--the tale of Fa Mu Lan is told in the first person--which reflects Kinsgton's own difficulty as a child in telling them apart.

Dominated by her mother, she was never sure how to please her, continually running afoul of some superstitious stricture. Her mother never answers questions, just tells some story and since the stories change from time to time, Kingston has to create her sense of her past from the pieces she gleans. To figure. It gives the reader a feeling of how it feels like to be a Chinese American girl growing up with traditional parents in a world that is quite different from.

California, her family roots remain deep within her culture. She is an active feminist and the author of two well-known books, The Woman Warrior and China Men In No Name Woman, Kingston explores the treatment, values and life of the women of old-China in the s. Within The Woman Warrior, the characters face many obstacles while living in America and coming from a Chinese background.

The author of the novel, Maxine Hong Kingston, faces some of the most difficult challenges out of the characters. Being a child in a new country,.

Time Period

Kingston opens the book with the chapter No Name Woman, a recount of a story her mother told her when she was a child about an aunt she once had who killed herself. Kingston delves into the story of her unnamed aunt explaining the events in intricate detail. Her aunt, whose husband had left for America years earlier, became pregnant with an illegitimate child.

Kingston weaves fictional elements into the separate chapters of her autobiography, trying to comprehend her Chinese mother's former life and in that way reconnect with the impressive, mysterious, and sometimes frightening woman who is her mother. In the process, Kingston tends to describe or reimagine the lives of mad women, outcast women, and slaves in China, many of whom she learned about through her mother's cautionary tales.

The narrator both fears and identifies with these outcasts. Thus, her efforts to make a bridge to her mother through her writing are always complicated by rebellion and resistance. Probably most intriguing about the structure of Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior, beginning with "No Name Woman" and ending in A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe," is that it characterizes Maxine Hong Kingston's memoir, told in the interesting format of non-sequential episodes, as one that begins in oppressed silence but ends in universal song.

When looking at the three woman warrior figures in the book - her aunt, the No Name Woman; the rewritten legendary warrior in "White Tigers" based upon the Mulan legend ; and the poet and barbarian captive, Ts'ai Yen - the characteristics that unite them all are their determined attempts at asserting their own kinds of power, femininity, and individuality in patriarchal Chinese society. The methods through which they do so revolve around words written, spoken, or not spoken: from the silence practiced by No Name Woman, to the words written on the warrior's back, to the songs created by Ts'ai Yen and, finally, to the stories that Kingston as the author uses to find the marks of the woman warrior within herself, and to do so in a way that allows the readers insight into a life that even the narrator is grappling to understand.

The words that open Woman Warrior, which begins with the story of No Name Woman, are quite interestingly an admonition of silence: "'You must not tell anyone,' my mother said, 'what I am about to tell you'" 3. This admonition signifies a promise, and a breaking of a promise: The narrator's mother Brave Orchid is showing courage and confidence in her daughter by sharing something that should not be remembered, yet at the same time, her mother is breaking the silence surrounding her sister-in-law, the titled No Name Woman.

This is one of the first of many of the narrator's mother's talk-stories, ones that were told with a purpose to aid her children in life events, while sealing the bond between child and mother. The story of the woman warrior, who is the protagonist of "White Tigers," is created in history and then transformed by the narrator into one of triumph through the breaking of silences.

Review: The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

Inspired by Kingston's childhood and the stories of Yue Fei and Mulan, the chapter becomes another way for the narrator to celebrate the breaking of silences, something that continues throughout the book. This union between mother and daughter the novel can be seen as the compromise of generations, an idea carried out in Kingston's appropriation of myths and stories seen in the retelling of these woman warriors. Her mother, in fact, is the narrator's guide of the methods in which to appropriate talk-stories for her own purposes.

Kingston's retellings are part of the idea that a culture growing up in one country can appropriate the lessons of their parents, who grew up in another.