The Fifth Book of Peace

Front Cover
Vintage, Sep 28, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 401 pages
23 Reviews
A long time ago in China, there existed three Books of Peace that proved so threatening to the reigning powers that they had them burned. Many years later Maxine Hong Kingston wrote a Fourth Book of Peace, but it too was burned--in the catastrophic Berkeley-Oakland Hills fire of 1991, a fire that coincided with the death of her father. Now in this visionary and redemptive work, Kingston completes her interrupted labor, weaving fiction and memoir into a luminous meditation on war and peace, devastation and renewal.

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Review: The Fifth Book of Peace

User Review  - Sharon Villainelle - Goodreads

This might well be my favorite of Kingston's works, and that's saying a great deal. Her language is simultaneously lyrical and grounded, a perfect weaving for a narrative that is itself a patchwork of ... Read full review

Review: The Fifth Book of Peace

User Review  - Helen - Goodreads

The Fifth Book of Peace is split into four parts, Fire, Paper, Water, and Earth. The first two sections and the last chronicle Kingston's journey from her house burning down with her unfinished ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Maxine Hong Kingston is the daughter of Chinese immigrants who operated a gambling house in the 1940s, when Maxine was born, and then a laundry where Kingston and her brothers and sisters toiled long hours. Kingston graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1962 from the University of California at Berkeley, and, in the same year, married actor Earll Kingston, whom she had met in an English course. The couple has one son, Joseph, who was born in 1963. They were active in antiwar activities in Berkeley, but in 1967 the Kingstons headed for Japan to escape the increasing violence and drugs of the antiwar movement. They settled instead in Hawai‘i, where Kingston took various teaching posts. They returned to California seventeen years later, and Kingston resumed teaching writing at the University of California, Berkeley.

While in Hawai‘i, Kingston wrote her first two books.The Woman Warrior, her first book, was published in 1976 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award, making her a literary celebrity at age thirty-six. Her second book,China Men, earned the National Book Award. Still today, both books are widely taught in literature and other classes. Kingston has earned additional awards, including the PEN West Award for Fiction forTripmaster Monkey, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and the National Humanities Medal, which was conferred by President Clinton, as well as the title “Living Treasure of Hawai‘i” bestowed by a Honolulu Buddhist church. Her most recent books include a collection of essays,Hawaii One Summer, and latest novel,The Fifth Book of Peace. Kingston is currently Senior Lecturer Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley.

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