DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Works Cited


Fong, Katheryn M. “An Open Letter/Review.” The Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars. 9.4 (1977): 67-69.
Fong criticizes The Woman Warrior through open letter format addressed to Maxine Hong Kingston, contending that author misrepresents Chinese culture.  Commends Kingston for some aspects of the work, but focuses on social comments and stereotypical content that mislead non-Chinese readers.  Fong uses historical evidence as counterargument to highlight inaccurate portrayal and stereotypes.  Also discusses why non-Chinese readers might misread book.  Useful direct response from a Chinese-American scholar that believes Woman Warrior smears truth about Chinese culture.

Kingston, Maxine Hong. “Cultural Mis-readings by American Reviewers.” Critical Essays on Maxine Hong Kingston. Ed. Laura E. Skandera-Trombley. New York: G.K. Hall, 1998. 95-103.
Kingston’s response to misreading of Woman Warrior by non-Chinese and Chinese reviewers, and attempts to dispel misinterpretations of the piece.  Specifically cites reviews and directly addresses them.  Argues that book is not a stereotypical oriental story of “East Meets West” or a book that speaks for Chinese culture, but rather a book to represent herself and her personal stories.  Outlines Kingston’s expectations for how readers should receive Woman Warrior and her intentions behind her writing.

Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior. New York: Random House, 1989.


Partridge, Jeffrey F.L. Beyond Literary Chinatown. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007. 1-74.
Explains the background and development of Chinese literature, characteristics of the ethnic autobiography, and applies theories to Woman Warrior and other Chinese works.  Theorizes an ethnic author’s role by using Foucault’s guidelines of authorship.  Discusses the horizon of expectations of a Chinese autobiography that attribute to the Woman Warrior’s common misinterpretations.  Source focuses on how a reader’s expectations affects how he would approach and interpret an ethnic autobiography.

Rodriguez, Barbara Ruth. Autobiographical Inscriptions: Form, Personhood, and the American Woman Writer of Color. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 96-107.
Rodriguez claims that Kingston uses unique narrative elements and strategies to narrate her life-story.  Discusses autobiographical form in Woman Warrior especially focusing on the diction, the figurative language, structure, and the use of fantasy.  Because of those characteristics and distinct writing style, work reveals a personal touch to author’s intentions and life experiences.

Wong, Sau-ling Cynthia. “Autobiography as Guided Chinatown Tour? Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior and the Chinese-American Autobiographical Controversy.” Multicultural Autobiography: American Lives. Ed. James Robert Payne. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1992. 250-279.

Wong details controversies and debates surrounding Woman Warrior, but argues that only a careless reader will misinterpret the work.  Contends that Kingston does not take role of the Chinatown tour guide like other authors in Chinese literature because not ashamed to show her ignorance about culture.  “Cultural distortions” indicates protagonist’s foreign feelings towards her background and not meant to misrepresent Chinese culture.  Work is Kingston’s exploration of her culture and a means to find where she fits in.  Attempts to defend Kingston’s writing from other critics who believe Kingston construes Chinese culture.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.