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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2004
Another book telling tales from the legendery mythical east? An Amy Tan style of work? Maxine Hong Kingston tells the story of Chinese men moving to America and tales about China men in her own way, by her own vivid imagination. If you want to doscover more about the eastern culture and their behaviour, take a look and you will benefit a lot.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In it she explores the Chinese American experience, this time as it was felt by the men in her family. This book, too, received glowing reviews. The New York Times deemed the volume "a triumph of the highest order, of imagination, of language, of moral perception," adding, "It is full of wonderful stories." Again Kingston was awarded the National Book Critic's Circle Award. She discussed her intention in China Men in a profile in the New York Times: "What I am doing in this book is claiming America. That seems to be a common strain that runs through all the characters. In story after story Chinese American people are claiming America, which goes all the way from one character saying that a Chinese explorer found this place long before [eleventh-century Norwegian explorer] Leif Erikkson did to another one buying a house here. Buying the house is a way of saying that America — and not China — is his country."
A history at once savage and beautiful.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2001
Rather than being a book about Chinese American men, it would be more accurate to state that this book is about the author's irrational prejudice toward those men. One can only speculate, but Ms. Hong Kingston must believe she's been treated badly by the Chinese men in her life. Incredibly, although Chinese American men journied thousands of miles to a strange and hostile land, managed to prosper and contribute to the diversity and beauty of that nation, the author finds very little, if anything redemptive in them. Instead, Hong Kingston consistently describes these men as victims of circumstances beyond their control, ineffective weaklings who despite their essential incompetence somehow manage to survive; despite their lack of genuine compassion for their wives and children somehow manage to send back money to support them; and despite their illiteracy somehow manage to elude evil immigration officials. Rather than being a story which reveals something heroic and inspirational about these brave and visionary souls, China Men is little more than a rant which self-consciously attempts (unsuccessfully)to express a feminist viewpoint... Indeed, Hong Kingston cannot conceal her hostility toward Chinese American men, daring to title this book "China Men", a play on the racist characterization of Chinese Americans as "Chinamen". I cannot recommend it.
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