“‘You must not tell anyone,’ my mother said, ‘what I am about to tell you.'” So began The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Maxine Hong Kingston’s first book, heralding a writer who, possibly more than any, has defined what Asian American literature has meant over the last several decades. The creative memoir sent shockwaves through American letters, establishing themes and controversies central to Asian American literature today: what we carry from our homelands and pasts, the role of myths and family secrets, what narratives are silenced and adventures in genre and gender. We’re proud to kick off The Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s twentieth anniversary and ring in the Lunar New Year by featuring Kingston’s ambitious new memoir in verse, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life. In Margin, Kingston has built a poem animated by a soul large enough to take in the full vista of life: age and mortality; wonderful friends and loved ones, both alive and passed away; and journeys through China and America and through the languages of Hawaiian pidgin, Cantonese, and Thoreau and Whitman.
Winner of our first Asian American Lifetime Achievement Award, Kingston will read and answer questions at one of the finest Chinese art galleries in Chelsea. Prior to the reading, guests for our cocktail reception will be able to sip a signature cocktail custom-mixed by Eddie Huang of BaoHaus (pictured left) in her honor and snap a photo with her in our photo booth. And after the reading, we’ll be holding an intimate dinner of dishes prepared and selected by Chef Huang in her honor—seating will be limited, so please reserve your seat today. Help us celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and our own birthday with one of the central writers of American letters.
Maxine Hong Kingston is the daughter of Chinese immigrants who operated a gambling house in the 1940s, when she was born, and then a laundry where Kingston and her brothers and sisters toiled long hours. Her books—such as The Woman Warrior, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and China Men, winner of the National Book Award—are classics of contemporary literature. The Woman Warrior has been identified by the Modern Language Association as possibly the most frequently assigned twentieth-century literary text by a living writer. Kingston’s awards include the PEN West Award for Fiction, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and the National Humanities Medal, which was conferred by President Clinton, as well as the title “Living Treasure of Hawai’i” bestowed by a Honolulu Buddhist church. Kingston is currently Senior Lecturer Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dinner held the home of Lydia Andre and Campbell Wilson
352 W 20th St (at 9th Ave)
New York, NY 10011
- 6-7PM Cocktail reception (comes with AAWW membership, photo with Maxine Hong Kingston, and reading admission) – $50
- 7-8PM Reading – $15
- 8:30-10PM Dinner (comes with AAWW membership, cocktail and reading admission, and listing as Benefit Committee member) – $250