Chinese-American Writer Discusses 'Woman, Peacemaker' at Denison
Posted: February 12, 2007
Maxine Hong Kingston, the author of five acclaimed nonfiction/memoir books, will give a lecture titled "Woman, Peacemaker" at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 20) in Slayter Auditorium. Her presentation is part of the Laura C. Harris "Gendered Borders" Series at Denison this year. Kingston drew accolades in the form of the National Book Critic's Circle Award in 1976 for her semi-autobiographical memoir, "The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts." This is her second visit to Denison -- she gave a reading in March of 1993 under the sponsorship of the Beck Lecture Series.
Kingston's style is distinctly her own, as she blends elements of fiction, biography, history, myth, and journal entries. Her most recent work is "The Fifth Book of Peace." She says in an interview with Powell's Books in Portland, Ore., that she combines elements of the Chinese and Western experiences, "My hands are writing English, but my mouth is speaking Chinese. Somehow I am able to write a language that captures the Chinese rhythms and tones and images, getting that power into English."
Her 1980 work, "China Men," was regarded as more controversial. Bleaker in tone, it deals with the lists of discriminatory laws regarding Chinese immigrants, yet simultaneously celebrating the achievements of the first Chinese men in America. Kingston claims that one of her main influences for "China Men" was the wildly experimental poet, William Carlos Williams.
Kingston was born in Stockton, Calif. the first of six American-born children to her Chinese parents. Kingston's first language was Say Yup, a dialect of Cantonese. She grew up surrounded by storytelling, which influenced her later writing.
The Laura C. Harris "Gendered Borders" Series, the Department of English, and the Women's Studies program sponsor this lecture.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville --The Laura C. Harris "Gendered Borders" Lecture Series presents author Maxine Hong Kingston for a lecture titled "Woman, Peacemaker"; 4:30 p.m., Tuesday (Feb. 20), Slayter Auditorium (200 North Road). Free and open to the public. Contact 740-587-6297 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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