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Welcome to Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival, now in our 17th year. Festival dates are October 7-15, 2016. Events are all-ages unless noted otherwise. Book sales are offered when and where appropriate. Events without ticket reservations are first-come first served. Click the phone icon to the right below, to download our new mobile app version!

avatar for Maxine Hong Kingston

Maxine Hong Kingston

Maxine Hong Kingston, an eminent memoirist and a celebrated Chinese-American autobiographer, is best known for The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1976) and its companion volume, China Men (1980). The Woman Warrior won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976 for nonfiction, and China Men was awarded the 1980 American Book Award. Kingston's unusual blend of fantasy, autobiography, and Chinese folklore makes her works highly personal and unconventional. The Woman Warrior and China Men are heavily influenced by many related sources, particularly her mother's childhood stories of China, her own experiences as a first-generation Chinese American, the less-than-favorable treatment of her ancestors who immigrated to America, and the racism and denigration of women that she encountered growing up in post-World War II California.

She was born in 1940 in Stockton, California, and after having excelled in high school, won 11 scholarships that allowed her to attend the University of California at Berkeley, from which she graduated in 1962. She taught English in Hayward, and at schools in Hawaii, until the publication of The Woman Warrior allowed her to retire from teaching and concentrate on writing fulltime.

Her most recent books are To Be The Poet and The Fifth Book of Peace. She is a frequent commentator and guest speaker at academic conferences and cultural events across the country. Among many honors, Kingston was awarded the 1997 National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton, and the 2013 National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.