Maxine Hong Kingston was born on October 27, 1940 in Stockton, California. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Berkeley (where she’s currently a Professor Emeritus).
Kingston’s first book, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among the Ghosts, was published in 1976. While labeled as nonfiction, the book featured a blending of traditional memoir and myth—and invoked a similar feeling of magical realism found in the works of such authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction in 1976.
Her follow-up China Men (1980) won the American Book Award.
In addition to these two masterworks, Maxine Hong Kingston has written two novels: Tripmaster Monkey, His Fake Book (1989) and Hawaii One Summer(1998). Most recently she returned to the autobiographical with The Fifth Book of Peace (2003). This work tells the story of Hong Kingston’s experiences in 1990s—her California home burned to ground, and in the process her latest novel is destroyed. Readers follow along as she tries to rebuild her life and retell her story. In 2006, she edited a collection of nonfiction pieces from people touched by war in Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, which were culled from some of Hong Kingston’s writing workshops.
Sources: Bio.com and University Press of Mississippi.
Someday we’re going to have to talk about this amazing woman. I’m thinking… Black Line post. Soon. Be there.