The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston (Book Review)

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Review and analysis of The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston.

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Climb The Stacks is a video series and blog dedicated to literature, featuring reviews and analysis of literary fiction, classic literature, and memoir.


pınar Civa says:

I failed women's literature lesson and I hate kingston because I dont understand her stories xD lecturer asked soliditary among women and what obstacles they come across as immigrants how they cope and the song for barbarian reed pipe is the one especially I understand nothing

Dmitriy Cope says:

Ясно – женщина воин. Оксюморон.

Viera T says:

You make the best summaries. I love the way you do it! It helps me a lot with my studies. Thanks a lot x

Book Bean says:

I'm currently reading this for my Asian America Through Arts and Culture class, and was pleasantly surprised by how haunting and raw the memoir stories came across. Lovely video, and keep up the great work!

Faraz x says:

This book is gay as fuck. I was forced to read this piece of shit this year in high school.

Rachel Su says:

It intrigues me as to why Brave Orchid (Kingston's mother) would want her to instil traditional and patriarchal values on her daughter if she herself did not follow these ideals as she used her husbands money to become a doctor.

Sarai Talks Books says:

I can always count on your videos to introduce me to great books! This sounds very interesting, I'm trying to venture into more memoirs and short story collections written by women about women. Alice Munro is on my list for this year for that very reason. I'll be adding this one to the list as well. 

shmoo says:

Hi Ashley and other viewers of this channel! Could you recommend any other YouTube channels about books which are similar to this one? I absolutely love watching videos posted by Ashley – they inspire me to read more!  My problem with most of the other "booktube" channels I've come across is that they seem to focus on let's say, the less ambitious type of literature, by which I mean a lot of vampires, sagas, chicklit and books for teens. Thank you Ashley for the amazing work that you're doing!

Lisa Diane says:

I LOVE THIS BOOK! I read it for a class on Asian-American Memoir, and it stunned me. My impression of the book was that it rang truer than some other, more strictly factual, memoirs. Our identities are formed from so many sources; the way that she wove her memories in with myths, archetypes and stories felt like a more authentic way to express the self than recounting individual experiences. I love how original and fresh it is. Another favorite book from that class is Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham, and since you seem to like travel memoir, you might want to check it out. 🙂

M H says:

Your videos give us so much and are so inspiring.  I always tell you this.

IntrovertInterrupted says:

I absolutely adore this book! I read it back in high school for my 11th grade IB class and thought it was just brilliant. I always find this particular book to be interesting because the way the stories are told seem as if they are true to fact until Kingston adds the "ghost" element. Then, I started to questions how truthful she was being, but even then, the stories seem like actual memories instead of fiction. I need to reread this one day.

Ron Lit says:

Just reread this for class. Freaking stunning, huh? How incredible is that scene where she pulls the hair of the silent classmate? It's mesmerizing and horrific and brutal and perfect and just so gutting. Poor Maxine.  
PS: We disagree about the ending – some of Maxine's last words are so heartbreaking. She says she pours concrete over nature with her mouth, that she sees with logic now, that she doesn't see ghosts anymore, but also not colours, that smells are antiseptic – there's such a sense of loss in this version of Maxine. And then the book segues into that myth about T'sai Yen that begins by her mother and ends by Maxine (the one that "translates well" – last line of the book). The way I read it was that a lot of criticism on TWW wants to read that hybrid myth as a reflection of Maxine herself – imagining a peace and resolution that she doesn't actually get the last time we see her. Instead, I see the myth the way erin Ninh sees it: as a hopeful dream of resolution that may one day come, but certainly is not present in Maxine at the end of the book. 
Anyway, just my two cents. I'll talk anyone's ear off about this book, it's sooo good. 

Christina L says:

I absolutely love that you read "vintage" books that I may not have heard of before discovering your channel. At the moment, as a fairy new reader, I'm reading a lot of hyped and well-known books, but your channel helps me find amazing lesser-known stories and this one really sounds incredible. I've definitely been looking into reading more feminist literature as well as diverse literature and this book is a great start for me. 

FronteraBruja says:

I first read The Woman Warrior for a creative non-fiction class as a sophomore in college. I love reading memoir type books about women, especially if it deals with identity and myth, so this was perfect! It was definitely a memorable book that I'll be rereading soon. Great review! 

TissTheReader says:

i love reading books that were written in the seventies or the eighties, its so funny to see how the world and people changed from back then to now LOL

FantasyIsUnderrated says:

I read The Woman Warrior in high school for class and loved it. I've been meaning to reread it, and I guess now, in my final semester of college, is a good time to do that. I'm hoping I'll appreciate it even more now that I've grown up and explored other feminist authors and ideas in school. It will be an interesting experience. Thanks for the review! 🙂

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