Born the daughter of Chinese immigrants Tom and Ying Lang Hong in Stockton, California, Maxine Hong Kingston grew up torn between her parents’ traditional East Asian culture and the culture of America. While her parents worked to support their family by operating a laundry, Kingston suffered, according to the autobiographical information in her books, much conflict over simultaneous identity as an American and a Chinese person. She addressed her struggles through writing, an activity begun at age nine. She benefited from immersion in Chinese traditional tales as she projected herself into roles of strong female figures from Chinese mythology.
Kingston earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California...
(The entire section is 299 words.)