Maxine Hong Kingston, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life-- in Conversation with Andrew Lam
On her journeys as writer, peace activist, teacher, and mother, Maxine Hong Kingston revisits her most beloved characters: she learns the final fate of her Woman Warrior, and she takes her Tripmaster Monkey, a hip Chinese American, on a journey through China, where he has never been—a trip that becomes a beautiful meditation on the country then and now, on a culture where rice farmers still work in the age-old way, even as a new era is dawning. "All over China," she writes, "and places where Chinese are, populations / are on the move, going home. That home / where Mother and Father are buried. Doors / between heaven and earth open wide."
Maxine Hong Kingston is the author of The Woman Warrior, China Men, Tripmaster Monkey, and The Fifth Book of Peace, among other works. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal, and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. For many years a Senior Lecturer for Creative Writing at UC Berkeley, she lives in California.
Andrew Lam is an editor and co-founder of New America Media, an association of over 2,000 ethnic media outlets in America. His essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country, and his short stories are anthologized widely. Followed by a film crew back to his homeland, Vietnam, he was featured in the documentary My Journey Home, which aired nationwide on PBS in 2004. His book Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora won a PEN American "Beyond Margins" award in 2006.