The first time I read “The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts” by Maxine Hong Kingston was in high school. I read it for two different classes in high school and college. Each reading resulted in different thoughts and analysis. “The Woman Warrior” plays a very significant role in my life as a literary inspiration and a reflection of growing up Asian in America. Maxine Hong Kingston’s newest book, “I Love a Broad Margin to My Life” has just been published. I was really excited to learn that she was going to be at Kepler’s Books. The Kepler’s Books blog has an interview with Maxine Hong Kingston.
One topic that came up during the event was the use of the word “margin” in the title. Maxine Hong Kingston mentioned that her father wrote poetry in the margins during his reading of the Chinese translation of “The Woman Warrior.” She explained that Chinese poets would respond to each other through writing in the margins. I then remembered a recent NY Times article, Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in the Margins, which describes the possible loss markings in books as people choose electronic books. I find it important to read with a pen in hand. Sometimes it is useful to mark a passage that grabs me.
I started a bit of “I Love a Broad Margin to My Life” – I can’t help it when there’s a book in my hands. Since the book revisits Kingston’s previous books, I have been rereading so the stories are fresh in my mind. I’m currently rereading “Tripmaster Monkey.” Many thanks to Maxine Hong Kingston and Kepler’s Books – “I Love a Broad Margin to My Life” is my first signed copy of a book!