Cover image for Maxine Hong Kingston : a critical companion
Maxine Hong Kingston : a critical companion
Huntley, E. D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xi, 204 pages ; 25 cm.
The life of Maxine Hong Kingston -- Maxine Hong Kingston and the Asian American literary tradition -- The women warrior: memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts (1976) -- China men (1980) -- Tripmaster monkey: his fake book (1989).
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3561.I52 Z695 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Maxine Hong Kingston's first book, Woman Warrior gained instant popularity and critical success, winning top national literary awards as well as a place on the best seller list. Readers recognized in China Men , a follow up memoir, and Tripmaster Monkey , a genre-defying novel, the same beguiling narrative voice and panoramic prose. This critical study provides an introduction to Kingston's works with in-depth literary analysis of her three long narratives. It helps students understand the important thematic concerns, such as the immigrant acculturalization process and the literary innovations such as the talk story narrative mode introduced by Kingston. Taking readers beyond these works, this volume offers a guided tour through the Asian immigrant experience, and the history of Asian American Literature. This study examines the tremendous cross-over appeal of Kingston's works with readers of all ages, genders, ethnic and national backgrounds.

Readers are introduced to Maxine Hong Kingston with a fascinating biographical chapter. A literary heritage chapter examines not only how Kingston fits into the Asian American literary tradition, but also how her exuberant books helped shape and redefine this important area of literature. A full chapter is devoted to each work, covering all literary components; plot and narrative construction, character development, symbolism, historical context and themes. An alternate critical approach is also given for each work. An extensive bibliography covers works by and about Kingston.

Author Notes

E. D. HUNTLEY is Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She is author of two previous volumes in the series, V.C. Andrews: A Critical Companion (Greenwood, 1996) and Amy Tan: A Critical Companion (Greenwood, 1998). Huntley has begun working on a study of gastronomy and detective fiction.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Huntley offers the beginner a well-organized and user-friendly guide not only to Kingston's three major works (The Woman Warrior, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey) but also to her life and the history of Asian American literature. As she did in Amy Tan: A Critical Companion (CH, Jan'99), Huntley brings together a wide range of sources. Here the author reveals Kingston's experimentation with literary form and the boundaries of genre, her use of "talk-story," and (most important) Kingston's plans for her work in progress, The Fifth Book of Peace. Huntley establishes Kingston's inclusiveness, her interest in writing for everyone, by portraying Kingston's themes as "the tensions of both belonging and being an outsider, of being alone as well as a member of a community." This basic theme becomes the backdrop of a careful examination of the novels. The author devotes a chapter to each novel--including sections such as "Plot Development," "Narrative Structure," "Point of View," "Character Development," "Setting," "Literary Devices," and "Thematic Issue," a format that allows the reader to compare and contrast the novels with ease. Beginning undergraduates and general readers. B. M. McNeal Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

Kathleen Gregory Klein
Series Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1. The Life of Maxine Hong Kingstonp. 1
2. Maxine Hong Kingston and the Asian American Literary Traditionp. 39
3. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts (1976)p. 75
4. China Men (1980)p. 115
5. Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book (1989)p. 155
Bibliographyp. 187
Indexp. 199