Deb's Reviews > The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
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Aug 15, 11

bookshelves: memoir, women
Read in August, 2011

Maxine Hong Kingston is the child of Chinese immigrants who grew up in California. These stories are autobiographical, but read like fiction, myth and history. Through these stories, we see a young girl who is unable to speak evolve into a young woman who is ready to make her way in the world.

Page 41:
My American life has been such a disappointment.
"I got straight A's, Mama."
"Let me tell you a true story about a girl who saved her village."
I could not figure out what was my village. And it was important that I do something big and fine, or else my parents would sell me when we made our way back to China. In China there were solutions for what to do with little girls who ate up food and threw tantrums. You can't eat straight A's."

page 125:
"Long ago in China, knot-makers tied string into buttons and frogs, and rope into bell pulls. There was one knot so complicated that it blinded the knot-maker. Finally an emperor outlawed this cruel knot, and the nobles could not order it anymore. If I had lived in China, I would have been an outlaw knot-maker."

And, for my Book Club friends who just finished Ann Hood's The Red Thread:
page 150:
"My parents would not give up, though. 'Though you can't see it,' my mother said, 'a red string around your ankle ties you to the person you'll marry. He's already been born, and he's on the other end of the string.'"
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