Here–for the first time in one volume–are two classic, brilliantly original works on the experience of Chinese immigrants in America. In both books Maxine Hong Kingston mines her family’s past and her culture’s stories, weaving myth and memory to fashion works of enormous revelatory power.
The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, is Kingston’s disturbing and fiercely beautiful account of growing up Chinese-American in California. The young Kingston lives in two worlds: the America to which her parents have emigrated, a place inhabited by white “ghosts,” and the China of her mother’s “talk stories,” a place haunted by the ghosts of the past. Her mother, who had been a doctor in China but in the United States is reduced to running a laundry, tells her daughter traditional tales of strong, wily women warriorstales–that clash puzzlingly with the real oppression of Chinese women. Kingston learns to fill in the mystifying spaces in her mother’s stories with stories of her own, engaging her family’s past and her own present with anger, imagination, and dazzling passion.
China Men, a National Book Award winner for fiction, is Kingston’s unforgettable imaginative journey into the hearts and minds of generations of Chinese men in America, from those who worked on the transcontinental railroad in the 1840s to those who fought in Vietnam. Mixing vivid fables and legends, personal stories from her own family, and details of the historical hardships faced by Chinese immigrants in different times and places, Kingston illuminates their long, arduous search for the Gold Mountain.
Maxine Hong Kingston is the author of The Woman Warrior, China Men, and The Fifth Book of Peace, among other works. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the presidentially conferred National… More about Maxine Hong Kingston
“A remarkable book . . . As an account of growing up female and Chinese-American . . . it is anti-nostalgic; it burns the fat right out of the mind. As a dream—of the ‘female avenger’—it is dizzying, elemental, a poem turned into a sword.” —NEW YORK TIMES
“Intense, fierce, and disturbing . . . A strange, sometimes savagely terrifying, and, in the literal sense, wonderful story.” —WASHINGTON POST
“A book of fierce clarity and originality.” —NEWSWEEK
“A history at once savage and beautiful, a combination of bone-grinding reality and luminous fantasy.” —THE NEW REPUBLIC
“Superb . . . Humorous . . . Magical. We are in the presence of a splendid raconteur, who shares with us the myths and stories that emerge from the lode of a culture’s deepest realities.” —CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“China Men is a voyage itself, to China and back. It will come to be regarded as one of the classic American works on the experience of immigration . . . A work of enormous power, feeling, and understanding.” —LOS ANGELES HERALD EXAMINER