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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed author Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior broke new ground when it was first published 35 years ago, weaving autobiography, history, folklore, and fantasy in to a candid and revelatory story about the daughter of Chinese immigrants in mid-20th century California.

Now in audio for the first time, The Woman Warrior is read by television and movie star Ming-Na (ER, Mulan) in a performance that captures the book’s amazing spectrum of hope, longing, fear, and strength.

Kingston, winner of the National Book Award and National Humanities Medal, beautifully mixes reality and fantasy in relating her experience growing up a stranger in America and an outsider to her family’s history in China. Thanks to the author’s unique storytelling style and voice, this book remains one of the most commonly taught college texts in America. Hear it performed here for the first time.

©1975, 1976 Maxine Hong Kingston (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about The Woman Warrior

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hilariously Vicious; Touchingly Empathetic

This is a story about the collision of cultural across time. A generic 7th century culture collides with a generic 20th century culture.

Of course, time and place are interconnected. If the 20th century is the “American Century” then the 7th century (and maybe the 8th and 9th centuries as well) disserve(s) to be called the “Tang Century(s)”. So this is also about the collision of Chinese Village culture on the cusp of modernity and American culture near the maximum of its rate of ascendancy..

It seems to me like this book should be studied in literature classes as a quintessential example of the modern literacy style. It is a non-linearly collection of stories each of which plays with the distinction between fiction and non-fiction. It deliberately bends the distinction between autobiography and social commentary. It talks about ordinary people to make points about Great civilizations. It tells the most painful stories of desperation and betrayal as humor (although the humor is probably sharper if you are in fact Chinese). It toys with many of the other classical demarcations in literature (perhaps all of the classical demarcations) and yet manages to not feel (too much) like a teenager rebelling against tradition for the sake of rebellion. It is worth reading just to improve one's taste for high art.

It is dated. It’s usually different for Chinese born after Deng Xiaoping. But it’s a must read for understanding older Chinese women.

I have a ratings monetary policy problem. Too many of my ratings are 5 star, and too often, as in this case, I feel the need to give 6 stars. Perhaps I need to give more 4 star ratings so I save some room at the top.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Talking Story

This book doesn't follow any linear time line as a memoir might be expected to. It reads more like a series of vaguely related novellas. Most of the book doesn't even seem to be directly about the author, so much so that when she does begin to talk about her childhood at the end I found myself wondering where she thought she was going with it. This might not be the most anthropologically accurate picture of Chinese immigrants during the 50's or even of the author's own family, it's hard to tell, but it is interesting. The stories are entertaining and really that's the most important part.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Enchanting

Listening to this book I felt like I was under a spell. It so beautifully and seamlessly weaves through a story of her life and by the end you, along with the narrator, don’t know what’s real or not but somehow you know what’s true.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Couldn't plod through

I always want to finish everything I read, but this one will be shelved for a while, or forever, till I run out of options and have something like a gazillion-hour layover with nothing to do in an airport terminal. Sorry to say I was so disappointed especially after listening to great reviews. Oh well.

1 person found this helpful

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love it

I loved this book. couldn't stop listening once I started. I would Definately listen again.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Story Telling

This is a wonderful story told with great insight and humor. It re-affirms the common experiences of all humans.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

unlikable characters

the stories in here were interesting at times, but the interactions between the women were awful to listen to.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very uneventful

Quite literally nothing happens in this book. It’s also not told chronologically so it’s all over the place. The narrator just talks about literally nothing for hours, and it gets very boring.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Transportive & entertaining

I loved this story and the narrator’s expressiveness. My only complaint is that I hadn’t read/heard it much sooner. I think I would’ve made a difference to me as a daughter of Asian immigrants albeit my parents are from the Philippines which is an entirely different culture and experience and I’m of a later generation. This book feels fresh and as relevant today as it was back when it was first published.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Confusing Storyline

Hard to sort thru who’s who and between memory, fantasy and reality. Story of Moon Orchid is totally depressing. Maybe it was a true story but no redemptive value. Did the narrator grow from that memory? Hard to discern.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LuLuFly
  • 01-08-15

Really fantastic!

Well worth listening and re-listening to! I found the story held me captive and the voice transported me into the narrative.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Jamie Nattu
  • 06-16-21

Ming-Na makes this audio book

For me this book was insight to being a South East Asian immigrant before I was born. As an audio book I found it a bit tricky to follow - as I've only realised now that it's more like 5 short stories rather than a continous novel.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Asra
  • 04-22-22

Yawn

It has literary value, no doubt. But. I purchased it for biography, and there is more fantasy than anything. I have nothing against fantasy, by all means, I love it, but not here. The writer could have written an amazing fantasy novel and another great true story about Chinese heritage, in two separate books. This just made me tired.