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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Fifth Book of Peace

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The Fifth Book of Peace Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Fifth Book of Peace opens as Maxine Hong Kingston, driving home from her father’s funeral in the early 1990s, discovers that her neighborhood in the Oakland-Berkeley hills is engulfed in flames. Her home burns to the ground, and with it, all her earthly possessions, including her novel-in-progress. Kingston, who at the time was deeply disturbed by the Persian Gulf War, decides that she must understand her own loss of all she possessed as a kind of shadow-experience of war: a lesson about what it would be like to experience up close its utter devastation. Thus she embarks on a mission to re-create her novel from scratch, to rebuild her life, and to reach out to veterans of war and share with them her views as a lover of peace.

In the middle section of this remarkable book, Kingston reconstructs for us her lost novel, the lush and compelling story of the Chinese-American Wittman Ah Sing and his wife, Taña–California artists who flee to Hawaii to evade the draft during the Vietnam War. Wittman and Taña help to create an official Sanctuary for deserters and GIs who’ve returned devastated by their experiences in Vietnam–not unlike, as it turns out, the metaphorical sanctuary Maxine creates, back in her real world, by inviting war veterans to participate in writing workshops. As the vets share their stories, she teaches them both the value of writing–the accurate transcription of what is in the heart–and the value of community.

Paradoxically, the stories of war and its terrors become for her and the vets a literature of peace–words that enable them to achieve peace, at least within themselves. Moving among the vets with her Buddhist-inflected wisdom and at times humorous self-doubts, weaving their stories together with her own struggle to reorient herself after the fire, Maxine Hong Kingston is at times a kind of sprite, an almost weightless spirit, who guides others toward a better place, and at times a challenging teacher, who will not let us turn from the spectacle of a world so often at war.

Review:

"This is vintage Kingston: agent provocateur, she once again follows her mother's dictate to 'educate the world.'" Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Wise, warm, empathic, and spellbinding, Kingston grapples with the spiritual toll of war and the elusiveness of peace in this many-faceted and involving spiritual meditation on the healing power of story and the challenge of acting on one's beliefs." Donna Seaman, Booklist

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of The Woman Warrior comes a brilliant hybrid of memoir and fiction, her first major work in more than a decade. Her real and imagined narrative enrich one another as Kingston weaves together fact, fiction and memory in an powerfully emotional book.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780679440758
Author:
Kingston, Maxine Hong
Publisher:
Random House
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Peace
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Hawaii
Subject:
Military - Vietnam War
Subject:
Vietnamese conflict, 1961-1975
Subject:
Authors, American
Subject:
Draft resisters.
Subject:
Vietnamese Conflict, 19
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
107-484
Publication Date:
September 2003
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
401
Dimensions:
9.46x6.60x1.35 in. 1.61 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Fifth Book of Peace Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 401 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780679440758 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This is vintage Kingston: agent provocateur, she once again follows her mother's dictate to 'educate the world.'" Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "Wise, warm, empathic, and spellbinding, Kingston grapples with the spiritual toll of war and the elusiveness of peace in this many-faceted and involving spiritual meditation on the healing power of story and the challenge of acting on one's beliefs."
"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed author of The Woman Warrior comes a brilliant hybrid of memoir and fiction, her first major work in more than a decade. Her real and imagined narrative enrich one another as Kingston weaves together fact, fiction and memory in an powerfully emotional book.
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