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A Good Place To Start

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The Woman Warrior 2

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Maxine Hong Kingston

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

pbgord January 28th, 2006 07:51 PM PST

This is the only one of Kingston's books I have read but I have read it numerous times, because I taught it in a "Minority Visions in American Lit" course I taught when I was adjunct college teaching in the 1980s. Reading it over and over really made me appreciate how rich and unqiue it is. The book cover calls it an "autobiographical novel" -- as ambigious a genre category as you will ever come by. Essentially, it's a memoir about growing up Chinese American. Kingston conveys that experience through various styles and points of view, including a fantasy section about a girl who becomes a warrior and saves her family and country -- a classic childhood fantasy of pleasing everyone and saving the day. It's about the trials and tribulations of being -- and not being -- a good daughter; it's about being a sister; it's about voice (one of the characters stays home from school, unable to speak, for a long stretch of time); it's about family -- rituals, traditions, tribal expectations, food. It's a great, moving and enriching read.

LucyStoner December 29th, 2006 02:21 PM PST

Never has a first-read recommendation come so easy.
Woman Warrior all the way.
The first paragraph roped me, maybe the first sentence actually...
One of those books that makes you love the author.

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