New blends of earth colours
: Maxine Hong Kingston's quest for identity

  • Marina Susan Deegan

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU

    Abstract

    When Maxine Hong Kingston published her first book, The Woman Warrior, it was greeted with loud acclaim, but it was also criticised by some Chinese critics for reinforcing old stereotypes and misrepresenting the Chinese myths which it blended with biography and autobiography. Similarly , despi te lots of positive reviews Kingston's novel was reduced by many reviewers into the exotic creation of an inscrutable oriental writer. Such was her frustration at the critical reception of The Woman Warrior that she found it necessary to write back to the critics and highlight their mis-readings: "Don't you hear the American slang? Don't you see the American settings? Don't . you see the way the Chinese myths have been transmuted by America? [CULT. MIS. 62] . Kingston is primarily an American writer. But she is also a Chinese American, something which she can never erase (and something which her readers will never let her forget). LikeĀ· the hyphen caught between 'Chinese ' and 'American', Kingston's identity has been indelibly shaped by the culture which her parents and ancestors grew up in , and by the culture which she was born in, grew up in, and is now a part of. For the critics to recognise only half of that cultural mix, therefore, is to see only half of her. ...
    Date of Award1993
    Original languageEnglish

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