Cheryl Chen

Maxine Hong Kingston’s Disruption of Category in The Woman Warrior
Volume 8 | Issue II | June 2024
Havergal College ’25
Ontario, Canada
I first discovered my love for reading and creative writing in Chinese school. By enrolling me in Chinese school, my mother ensured that I, a first-generation immigrant who moved to Canada at the age of four, would not forget my heritage, language, and culture. My passion for creative literature, I suppose, was a side effect – one that swelled and stayed with me. Although I now read and write predominantly in English, I am constantly looking for connections and intersections between literature in Chinese and English. Naturally, when I set out to write this paper, I wanted to focus my analysis on a book written by an author with Chinese heritage. I then found The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, a book widely considered one of the many ‘great American novels.’ Afterwards, I spent a week reading, sitting with, and annotating the book. What followed was the process of unraveling the myriad of varying critiques of Kingston’s novel and interrogating the ways in which the story subverts the constructed authority of the ‘American literary canon.’ Over the span of a year, I rigorously drafted, edited, and refined my paper. I am grateful for the community of eager learners and thinkers at The Schola, and for this opportunity to publish my work. Aside from literature, I also enjoy research in the areas of feminist and queer epistemology, ancient Chinese philosophy, and sociolinguistics. Outside of my academic interests, I love writing poetry, horseback riding, waking up to a quiet morning, and singing in the shower.
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