By the author of the bestselling The Woman Warrior, a magical book- a literature of peace built on the stories of war. Divided into four sections - 'Fire', 'Paper', 'Water' and 'Earth' - this book is neither fiction nor autobiography nor memoir, but a unique form of Chinese 'talk-story' in which real and imagined worlds intrude upon and enrich one another. From the anti-war protests in Hawaii to Kingston's own conversations with Vietnam veterans, the author takes us inside the hearts and minds of a host of characters, not least of whom is her own Mama, the veteran woman warrior Brave Orchid. This remarkable book is also the narrative of the seminal years in which Kingston rebuilds her life following a devastating fire, which destroyed all her possessions including her novel The Fourth Book of Peace, and the death of her father.
Maxine Hong Kingston is Senior Lecturer for Creative Writing at the University of California, Berkeley. Her memoirs and fiction have won numerous awards, including the National Book Award and an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Literature Award. She also holds the rare title 'Living Treasure of Hawaii'.