Maxine Hong Kingston biography
Maxine Hong Kingston was born on October 27, 1940 in Stockton, California. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Berkeley (where she's currently a Professor Emeritus). Her first book, The Woman Warrior, won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976. Her follow-up China Men won the American Book Award. Kingston has been married to Earll Kingston since 1962 and the couple has one son.
Writer. Born on October 27, 1940, in Stockton, California. Maxine Hong Kingston created a worldwide sensation with her 1976 work The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among the Ghosts and emerged one of the leading contemporary Chinese American writers. Before she became a famous writer, she was an educator, working in California and Hawaii. She had earned a bachelor’s degree in 1962 from the University of California, Berkeley.
While labeled as nonfiction, Maxine Hong Kingston's first book, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among the Ghosts featured a blending of traditional memoir and myth—and invoked a similar feeling of magical realism found in the works of such authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Readers were enthralled by the book as were critics. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction in 1976.
For Maxine Hong Kingston, however, the work was half-finished. She always envisioned The Woman Warrior as the first part of a larger work. The second part, China Men, followed in 1980. It won the American Book Award the following year, and Hong Kingston became a Guggenheim fellow that same year.
In addition to these two masterworks, Maxine Hong Kingston has written two novels: Tripmaster Monkey, His Fake Book (1989) and Hawaii One Summer (1998). Most recently she returned to the autobiographical with The Fifth Book of Peace (2003). This work tells the story of Hong Kingston’s experiences in 1990s—her California home burned to ground, and in the process her latest novel is destroyed. Readers follow along as she tries to rebuild her life and retell her story. In 2006, she edited a collection of nonfiction pieces from people touched by war in Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, which were culled from some of Hong Kingston's writing workshops.
During her distinguished career, Maxine Hong Kingston has received many honors, including the National Humanities Medal in 1997 and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature. She been married to Earll Kingston since 1962; the couple has one son, Joseph.