(S)wordswoman versus (S)wordsman: Maxine Hong Kingston and Frank Chin

  • King-Kok Cheung


(S)WORDSWOMAN AND (S)WORDSMAN interweaves the gender debates involving Maxine Hong Kingston and Frank Chin with an analysis of the two writers’ verbal pyrotechnics. It correlates the historical debasement of Asian men in the United States with the traditional subjugation of women in China, and cautions against boosting manhood by subscribing to patriarchal conventions of masculinity. Concomitantly, it demonstrates how Kingston and F. Chin retool Chinese classics to create a usable past relevant to their concerns as Chinese American female and male, respectively. By invoking the Chinese heroic tradition to voice their gender and cultural nationalist concerns, these two writers launch a transnational literary tradition that straddles the dyadic ideal of wen-wu (literary arts and martial arts)—writing and fighting.


Chinese Classic Water Margin Asian American Community Asian American Manhood White Acceptance 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • King-Kok Cheung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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