Books: Book of Changes

THE WOMAN WARRIOR

by MAXINE HONG KINGSTON

209 pages. Knopf. $7.95.

Exiles and refugees tell sad stories of the life they left behind. Even sadder, sometimes, is the muteness of their children. They are likely to find the old ways and old language excess baggage, especially if their adopted homeland is the U.S., where the race is to the swift and the adaptable. Thus a heritage of centuries can die in a generation of embarrassed silence. The Woman Warrior gives that silence a voice.

Subtitled Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, this astonishingly accomplished first book by an American-born Chinese woman haunts...

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