Critical Insights: The Woman Warrior Review

“Critical Insights: The Woman Warrior is a collection of essays about Maxine Hong Kingston’s influential 1975 book The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. Intended to convey the importance of Kingston’s work, this book attempts to highlight its major themes and stylistic features, while also exploring the debates and controversies surrounding the work.

Critical Insights: The Woman Warrior is divided into three sections about the book and author, critical contexts, and critical readings. The first section includes three essays: a discussion of The Woman Warrior, a biography of Kingston, and a conversation with Kingston herself. The second section includes four critical essays surrounding the work and its cultural context. The final section of eight critical readings explores such topics as the power of discourse, the role of talk-story, existentialism, etc. The book concludes with a chronology of Kingston’s life, a catalog of her works, a bibliography, information about the editors and contributors, and an index.

This publication is an excellent compilation of quality essays exploring Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior, and its enduring critical and cultural importance. Many other writings about Kingston and The Woman Warrior exist, but this book serves as a great introduction and collection for those truly interested in Kingston’s work. Academic collections that include important 20th-century or multicultural literature would benefit from its inclusion.”
-ARBA, 2017