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The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1975)

by Maxine Hong Kingston

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,197631,952 (3.77)109
Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.
  1. 20
    The Ballad of Mulan by Song Nan Zhang (bertilak)
  2. 00
    The Calligrapher’s Daughter by Eugenia Kim (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: The first widely read Asian American book written by a woman, blending memoir, fiction and legend.
  3. 00
    Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong (Imprinted)
  4. 00
    The Opposite of Fate: a book of musings by Amy Tan (cransell)
    cransell: Another memoir by a Chinese-American woman. Both are very good.
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» See also 109 mentions

English (60)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
feminism, memoir, fiction, Chinese Americans, audio ( )
  margaretmontet | Jul 9, 2020 |
Immersive, escapist, important. Chinese mothers talking-story.

My favourite quote:
Chinese-Americans, when you try to understand what things in you are Chinese, how do you separate what is peculiar to childhood, to poverty, insanities, one family, your mother who marked your growing with stories, from what is Chinese? What is Chinese tradition and what is the movies?

and this:
I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes. ( )
  piquareste | Jun 3, 2020 |
The book mixes autobiography with Chinese folklore, making it quite a fascinating read. The author wishes to be Fa Mu Lan, the heroine who went to war in place of her father. It signifies her wish to break away from the shackles of her family, full of Chinese families do-and-don'ts. I find it amazing that I could actually relate to some of the taboos her mother told her about when we are generations apart and separated by vast seas, especially those things that mothers tell you not to do but without giving any reason, and where there don't seem to be any good reason at all. You just have to accept or else you will be scolded. ( )
  siok | May 23, 2020 |
"How do you separate what is peculiar to childhood, to poverty, insanities, one family, your mother who marked your growing with stories, from what is Chinese?"

Kingston artistically illuminates how difficult it is to tease apart your pieces in an attempt to make sense of the whole. Impactful and educational memoir -

"The sweat of hard work is not to be displayed. It is much more graceful to appear favored by the gods." *cheekysmirk* ( )
  dandelionroots | May 22, 2020 |
It was interesting which parts of this book I remembered from when I read it in high school. I could turn it into a strange kind of character study, seeing what I remembered, what I brought with me all these years later.

I decided to re-read this because I watched Disney's "Mulan" and remembered having read a story about the Chinese version of her (as compared with the Disney version).

It was nice to reconnect with my high-school-English-class self and with my Chinese half of the family, though a couple generations removed. I wonder how my grandparents behaved at Chinese school. I wonder if their parents made them translate things they were embarrassed about.

This is a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, and the line between the two is so skillfully blurred that you won't know when you crossed it. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kingston, Maxine HongAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Evenari, Gail K.Author photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guo, XiaoluIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lai, Chi-YeeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sann, JohnCover photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"You must not tell anyone," my mother said, "what I am about to tell you."
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