I Love a Broad Margin to My Life (Vintage International)

I Love a Broad Margin to My Life (Vintage International)

Maxine Hong Kingston

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 0307454592

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In her singular voice—both humble and brave, touching and humorous—Maxine Hong Kingston gives us a poignant and beautiful memoir-in-verse that captures the wisdom that comes with age. As she reflects on her sixty-five years, she circles from present to past and back, from lunch with a writer friend to the funeral of a Vietnam veteran, from her long marriage to her arrest at a peace march in Washington. On her journeys as writer, peace activist, teacher, and mother, she revisits her most beloved characters—Wittman Ah-Sing, the Tripmaster Monkey, and Fa Mook Lan, the Woman Warrior—and presents us with a beautiful meditation on China then and now. The result is a marvelous account of an American life of great purpose and joy, and the tonic wisdom of a writer we have come to cherish.

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natural language, the best for giving heartfelt thanks. “You well come,” says a goateed artist. No, not goatee. Let’s give him a soul patch. “Well, well,” says a fellow with a ponytail. “Koo. Koo. Koo.” Cool. Cool. “How are you?” “I am fine. Thank you.” “You well come.” “I come from Heilongjian. And you?” Black Dragon River. The artists, communal around the fire, brothers, smoking Peace brand cigarettes and being served tea and pastries, delight in trying out the Brave language, the

paints some more. Turns his back on the model and the picture, holds up a hand mirror, and looks at their images in reverse, turns around quick—catches something— paints it down. As if I am hard to see. The artist is doing mighty feats of concentration to hold me real. Across the courtyard is a south-facing window, dark inside, nobody lives there. One day, the window is utterly gone. Nary a jamb or corner or glint remains. The explanation has got to be that tree; it leafed out, and

rather be private). In war, he’d be the one taken as headman. The old women, 4 of them, sat on the earth in the shade of a wall across the way. They’d played here as girls, and now rest, still friends, laughing, remembering. They look like homeless street people in the United States; Chinese, maybe Chinese-American, women, old like these women, clad like them, faded pants and shirts, hair home-cut, bobby-pinned back from their ears, such women are scavenging garbage cans. They don’t

vine, touched me. Joy kin. Joy kin.” Sit very still, and you will feel the ancestors pull you to earth by a bell rope that ties you—through you—from underground to sky. They pull downward, and pull heavenly energy down into you, all your spirited self. They let up, and life force geysers out from your thinking head and your hardworking hands. My first visit to my mother’s village, my mother still living then, I looked for her house among the gray-with-mildew houses, walked through the

dreaming, thinking, we sat without speaking, without letting go of warm hands. The red red green green appeared again. I told her, “That’s Japan. We’re over Japan now. We’ll be landing soon in Narita.” “Waw! You speak Japanese too.” She admires me too much. Inside the horrible confusion of the international airport, how can a mind from the village not fall to crazy pieces? I found a nice American couple making the connecting flight to New York, and asked them please to take this

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