Maxine Hong Kingston
Courtesy Photo

Your first book, The Woman Warrior, published in 1975, continues to be widely read, especially in colleges and universities. What is it about the book that has resonated with so many readers for so many years?

You teachers and scholars can answer this question better than I can. The letters I get from readers tell me that I am writing the story of their own lives, and that my books have changed their lives. I suppose this means that I have written stories that are universally human and true. And can it be that reading a good book can transform the reader?

Your third book, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book is a wild narrative ride. More recently, in I Love a Broad Margin, you’ve turned to book-length autobiographical poetry. Your fans clearly cherish that formal variety. How do you explain your willingness to experiment when so many writer prefer to play it safe?

I love telling the same story in various forms, and finding new knowledge and wonders.


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