Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction


“A book of fierce clarity and originality” (Newsweek), Maxine Hong Kingston’s autobiography tells of her early life in California and the cultural confusion she experienced as the daughter of Chinese immigrants.

In her award-winning book The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston created an entirely new form—an exhilarating blend of autobiography and mythology, of world and self, of hot rage and cool analysis. First published in 1976, it has become a classic in its innovative portrayal of multiple and intersecting identities—immigrant, female, Chinese, American. 

As a girl, Kingston lives in two confounding worlds: the California to which her parents have immigrated and the China of her mother’s “talk stories.” The fierce and wily women warriors of her mother’s tales clash jarringly with the harsh reality of female oppression out of which they come. Kingston’s sense of self emerges in the mystifying gaps in these stories, which she learns to fill with stories of her own. A warrior of words, she forges fractured myths and memories into an incandescent whole, achieving a new understanding of her family’s past and her own present.


“A remarkable book. . . . As an account of growing up female and Chinese-American in California, in a laundry of course, it is an 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.” —The New York Times

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 Humanities Medal, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award. She worked for many years as a senior lecturer in creative writing at UC Berkeley. Kingston lives in Oakland, California.

View titles by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • WINNER | 1978
    Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
  • WINNER | 1976
    National Book Critics Circle Awards
“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

“A classic, for a reason” —Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Our Missing Hearts, via Twitter

“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

About

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction


“A book of fierce clarity and originality” (Newsweek), Maxine Hong Kingston’s autobiography tells of her early life in California and the cultural confusion she experienced as the daughter of Chinese immigrants.

In her award-winning book The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston created an entirely new form—an exhilarating blend of autobiography and mythology, of world and self, of hot rage and cool analysis. First published in 1976, it has become a classic in its innovative portrayal of multiple and intersecting identities—immigrant, female, Chinese, American. 

As a girl, Kingston lives in two confounding worlds: the California to which her parents have immigrated and the China of her mother’s “talk stories.” The fierce and wily women warriors of her mother’s tales clash jarringly with the harsh reality of female oppression out of which they come. Kingston’s sense of self emerges in the mystifying gaps in these stories, which she learns to fill with stories of her own. A warrior of words, she forges fractured myths and memories into an incandescent whole, achieving a new understanding of her family’s past and her own present.


“A remarkable book. . . . As an account of growing up female and Chinese-American in California, in a laundry of course, it is an 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.” —The New York Times

Author

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 Humanities Medal, the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award. She worked for many years as a senior lecturer in creative writing at UC Berkeley. Kingston lives in Oakland, California.

View titles by Maxine Hong Kingston

Awards

  • WINNER | 1978
    Anisfield-Wolf Book Award
  • WINNER | 1976
    National Book Critics Circle Awards

Praise

“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

“A classic, for a reason” —Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Our Missing Hearts, via Twitter

“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

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