Campus Celebrity: Maxine Hong Kingston

This week’s Campus Celebrity is Maxine Hong Kingston.

Born in Stockton, California, Kingston attended UC Berkeley as a scholarship student and graduated in 1962. She went on to write various books, poems, short stories and articles. Much of her work has been influenced by her experiences as a first-generation Chinese-American.
Kingston’s first book was published in 1976, called Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. Portraying the memories of being raised in two conflicting cultures, the book became a critical success and won the 1976 National Book Critics’ Circle Award for nonfiction. From this, Kingston emerged as one of the leading contemporary Chinese-American writers.

The second part of Woman Warrior continued in her second book, China Men (1980), which won the American Book Award for nonfiction the following year. In 1981, Kingston also became a Guggenheim fellow.


In 1993, Kingston began writing and meditation workshops for veterans of conflicts and their families. From her experiences running these workshops came her next book, Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace (2006).

Kingston has received various honors, including the National Humanities Medal in 1997 and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature.

She is a leader not only as an anti-war activist, but also as a Chinese-American who has given voice to the difficulties of conflicting cultures.

We are very honored to feature Maxine Hong Kingston on HerCampus UC Berkeley.