BOOKS/FILMS/AUTHORS--USEM4--1999

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

Being a first-generation American myself, I heard Kingston voicing many feelings I had experienced in my life. When I was younger, I thought that these problems were specific to my situation and me. As I grew, I realized that others dealt with similar feelings, but it was not until I read The Woman Warrior that I realized these thoughts crossed cultural barriers. I had thought that only the children of Israelis felt the way I did.

The Woman Warrior has related to me parts of Chinese culture that have never really been revealed to me by my parents. My mother recalls hearing the story of Fa Mulan when she was a child, yet she never remembered the details to pass on to me. My knowledge of the story stemmed from Disney's interpretation in their movie. This became a cultural learning experience for me in which I gained my past and my heritage.