A poignant and beautiful memoir-in-verse that captures the wisdom that comes with age: award-winning author Maxine Hong Kingston takes us back to China and forward into a new era in her own life, sharing with us her joys, her sense of reckoning, and even a last look at her most beloved fictional characters.
In her singular voice--both humble and brave, by turns elegiac and practical, touching and humorous--Maxine sets out to reflect on her life as a woman verging on 65. Her swift verse lines circle from present to past and back, from lunch with a writer friend to the funeral of a Vietnam veteran, from her long marriage ("can't divorce until we get it right. / Love, that is. Get love right.") to her arrest at a peace march in Washington, where she and her "sisters" protested the Iraq war in the George W. Bush years. In her unique global language, with sentences sprinkled with Chinese, Hawaiian, American, and Spanish phrases, she revisits her old character, Wittman Ah Sing, the Tripmaster Monkey, and shows us China then and now. The result is a marvelous and freeing memoir, the sense of doors opening wide onto an American life of great purpose and joy, and the tonic wisdom of a writer we have come to cherish.