Co-presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and NYU Creative Writing Program
The legendary Maxine Hong Kingston joins us for an intimate conversation about her oeuvre moderated by Crystal Parikh (Department of English and Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU). A light lunch will follow.
This event is currently at full capacity. We will accommodate walk-ins as we are able to.
Maxine Hong Kingston is the daughter of Chinese immigrants who operated a gambling house in the 1940s, when Maxine was born, and then a laundry where Kingston and her brothers and sisters toiled long hours. Kingston graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1962 from the University of California at Berkeley, and, in the same year, married actor Earll Kingston, whom she had met in an English course. The couple has one son, Joseph, who was born in 1963. They were active in antiwar activities in Berkeley, but in 1967 the Kingstons headed for Japan to escape the increasing violence and drugs of the antiwar movement. They settled instead in Hawai‘i, where Kingston took various teaching posts. They returned to California seventeen years later, and Kingston resumed teaching writing at the University of California, Berkeley.
While in Hawai‘i, Kingston wrote her first two books. The Woman Warrior, her first book, was published in 1976 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award, making her a literary celebrity at age thirty-six. Her second book, China Men, earned the National Book Award. Still today, both books are widely taught in literature and other classes. Kingston has earned additional awards, including the PEN West Award for Fiction for Tripmaster Monkey, 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. Her most recent books include a collection of essays, Hawai‘i One Summer, and latest novel, The Fifth Book of Peace. Kingston is currently Senior Lecturer Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley.
Crystal Parikh is Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Her areas of research and teaching include Asian American studies, Latino studies, critical race theory, theories of gender and sexuality, and twentieth-century and contemporary American literature. In addition to several articles, Professor Parikh is the author of An Ethics of Betrayal: The Politics of Otherness in Emergent U.S. Literature and Culture (Fordham UP) and is currently writing a new book about human rights politics and contemporary US writers of color.
Image credit: Christopher Felver/Corbis