Carol's Industria

Three months down and so many books read. I loved every part of it. I remember when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and as soon as they heard "English Literature Teacher" they would tell me in their warning voices, "Oh, you're gonna have to read aloooot of books!"

Psh! As if that ever scared me.....

I wanted to be in the train with an open book at all times, with 4 others on my lap. Filling my head with all the places I've never even had an option to go to. Involved with people that were complex and full of purpose. I love how literature unites us. Books literally as a human link.

One of my favorite books this semester is Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior: Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

Kingston's fictionalized memoir as a Chinese-American (herself as first-generation). It is divided into five different chapters, each telling the story of a specific woman.

1. No-Name Woman- Kingston's aunt, who after shaming her family by having a child out of wedlock, commits suicide. Not a spoiler! The chapter is mostly about how Kingston comes to terms with the small description above given by her mother.

2. Fa Mu Lan- This is my favorite chapter. If you ever saw the Disney version of Mulan, you'll forget all about it. This folk tale of a girl who trains in the mountains from age 7 to 15 to fight the corrupt baron disguised as a man. Amazing story!

3. Brave Orchid- Kingston's mother's tale in China, fighting ghosts, in medical school, and her growing reputation as a skillful midwife.

4. Moon Orchid - Moon Orchid's sister, who has been brought to live in the US by her sister and daugher, to reclaim her role as wife to a man who has re-married once he left China.  DRAMMMMAAAAA, but so powerful in the terms of female silencing.

5. This is Kingston's chapter where she finally confronts her mother for filling her world with stories (or talk-stories as she calls them), memories of China filled with ghosts, and silencing her daughter by her usual remark, "There’s no profit in raising girls. Better to raise geese than girls."

All in all, this book is so beautifully written, and completely inspired me to write more. I'm curious to know what ghosts are in my family :P