23. August 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, Janet

The Woman Warrior, Memiors of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston, 209 pages, read by Janet, on 08/16/2012

This is the story of Brave Orchid, a Chinese girl raised among the old ways, where sons were appreciated in a family, but daughters were usually to be sold or married as soon as possible.  There were many deaths mentioned in the story – the background of ghosts that were always with the people.  Many warnings about life were usually told as stories to children about how the gods expected certain actions and gifts.  Her mother sliced the frenum under her tongue when whe was a baby, which caused her great difficulty in speaking clearly, so as a child, she rarely spoke at all. The Chinese say “a ready tongue is an evil.”  There are actually many stories of the women in the family.  Brave Orchid attended college and got her medical degree.  She treated many people in China before coming to America, but when she and her husband moved to California, they made their living with the hard work of a laundromat in the Chinese quarter.

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