Writing Techniques in China Men

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China Men is less an autobiography than an imaginative retelling of the recent history of one group of ChineseAmericans. Kingston tells stories of Chinamen in China, Hawaii, Alaska, San Francisco, Nevada, New York, and Vietnam. In the case of her father, she offers alternative versions. In an early chapter, she has him smuggled into New York in a crate; late in the book she writes, "In 1903 my father was born in San Francisco."

As in The Woman Warrior, Kingston borrows freely from family stories, folk tales, mythology and history books.

Generally these are woven together seamlessly. The various sections of the book, six full chapters interspersed between twelve stories or anecdotes from one to ten pages long, vary widely in tone and subject to give the book its rich texture. The single section which seems out of place is one entitled "The Laws," an eight page overview of...

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This section contains 191 words
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Buy the China Men Study Guide
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