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The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts Paperback – April 23, 1989
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The Woman Warrior is a pungent, bitter, but beautifully written memoir of growing up Chinese American in Stockton, California. Maxine Hong Kingston (China Men) distills the dire lessons of her mother's mesmerizing "talk-story" tales of a China where girls are worthless, tradition is exalted and only a strong, wily woman can scratch her way upward. The author's America is a landscape of confounding white "ghosts"--the policeman ghost, the social worker ghost--with equally rigid, but very different rules. Like the woman warrior of the title, Kingston carries the crimes against her family carved into her back by her parents in testimony to and defiance of the pain. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Intense, fierce and disturbing . . . A strange, sometimes savagely terrifying and, in the literal sense, wonderful story.” —The Washington Post
“Remarkable. . . . As an account of growing up female and Chinese-American . . . it is anti-nostalgic. . . . As a dream—of the ‘female avenger’—it is dizzying, elemental, a poem turned into a sword.” —The New York Times
“Superb. . . . 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
“Triumphant . . . astonishingly accomplished.” —Time
Top customer reviews
I was hoping that this book would do the same for Chinese Americans and Chinese culture. It did not. There are certain parts of the book that are very well written, but the imagery often goes a bit over the top and is frequently too heavy-handed. Imagery & symbolism should be somewhat subtle. There is also a bit of repetition of some of the themes, which is usually ok, if a motif is running throughout a book, but only if it is done with considerable intelligence and creativity. The repetitious motifs in this book often seem irritating and even inane.
Some parts are very well written, but those parts make up a small portion of the book: still, enough for me to give the book two stars.
Just wasn’t my cup of tea.
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