2018.033.001 The Family Journey of Maxine Hong Kingston

This is an oral history interview with Maxine Hong Kinston on Nov 15th 2018 by Nancy Yao Maasbach for MOCA Legacy Award tribute video and a family journey. Maxine Hong Kingston born on October 27, 1940, is a Chinese American author and Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with a BA in English in 1962. Kingston has written three novels and several works of non-fiction about the experiences of Chinese Americans. This interview talked about her family, parents, sibling, her childhood, her education, and her achievement as author and being a Chinese American, as well as her legacy to her granddaughter.

0:00 - Maxine Hong Kingston's English name and Chinese Name, TingTing Tang, and their meanings. Maxine Hong Kingston的英文名字和中文名字汤婷婷,以及他们的含义

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6:00 - Father spent 3 years in Cuba at his teenage before came to New York when he got caught deported twice, at the 3rd time he arrived in new York Chinatown, worked on various jobs; he won $600 from Jack Hong, and got a fake visa for Maxine’s mom. Mom was detained at the Angel Island for 3 weeks. There was a 50 pages of the transcription of her mom interrogation. 父亲来纽约之前在古巴度过青少年时期,曾经两次被遣返,第三次到达纽约唐人街,做过不同的工作,后来赢了Jack Hong 600美金,于是为她妈妈赢得了假身份来到美国,她妈妈在天使岛关了3个星期,家里有一份妈妈的长达50页的审讯记录

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12:03 - After Angle Island, her mom took the train to NY. Maxine visited Angle Island few times before and after the museum was established. She visited women’s room, and saw poems on the walls, she also saw women’s room, the atmosphere she heard from tours and her mom were suiside and being returned. Besides fair of being deported, her mom sometimes also felt being cared. 离开天使岛,他的妈妈来到了纽约。Maxine在天使岛建成博物馆前后曾多次访问,看到过墙上的诗,和女生的房间,从讲解员和妈妈那里听到自杀和被遣返的故事,妈妈在那里的时候,除了担心被遣返,有时也感到被关心

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17:58 - Maxine’s mom made her way from village to ship, from California to New York, a wonderful place for her. Her memory of 1939 Time Square New Year Eve, and New York World’s Fair, her new life. She was a victor of PTSD. The way she talks about NY just like talking about China. Maxine的妈妈从乡村到上船,从加州到纽约,纽约是她很喜欢的地方。她妈妈对1939年时代广场的新年之夜、纽约的世界博览会,她的新生活记忆深刻。她战胜了创伤后应激障碍。她讲述纽约就像她讲述中国一样

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24:26 - Mexine’s parents always spoke Chinese with children at home. Few years ago, at a book signing event, Maxine met a young Chinese whose grandfather is Jack Hong, who lost the visa , but somehow brought in her grandmother. Mexine的父母在家跟孩子们讲中文。几年前,在一个签名售书的活动中,Mexine遇到了Jack Hong的孙女,就是那个当年把她奶奶的移民身份输给她妈妈的那位,她的奶奶后来也来到了美国

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28:26 - About family association and Chinese community in Stockton, where people went business together, sell business to others, and set up Chinese school, like her father’s laundry and gambling place. It is almost like set up a village again. People sent money back to China, Women sent money too. Bones were sent back and buried in China, kept a tight relation. 关于家族联合会和华人社区,大家在一起做生意,建立中文学校,就这样他的父亲经营洗衣店和赌场,在加州的斯托克顿和在家乡差不多,人们寄钱回中国,女人也寄,华人死后运回中国埋葬,总之联系紧密

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37:10 - About her young life. Village dialect was spoken in Stockton but dialect in Chinese school was different from village dialect, standard Cantonese like a brand new language. Daily schedule, 3pm finished English school by 5pm at Chinese school for 2 hours then laundry, went home after 9pm. Chinese school is a good break from English school. 年轻的时候,在斯托克顿说的是村里的方言,但在中文学校用的是全新的标准粤语。每天的时间安排,下午3点放学,然后去中文学校2小时,然后去洗衣店,9点之后才回家。中文学校是英文学校之后很好的一个休息

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42:23 - 5 Siblings, the last 3 were born at home. Mom was proud of their taking care to each other, but negative reinforcement, mom said they were bad. Maxine was 9 years old when family bought the laundry, siblings’ job was to take care the baby, they brought the baby to the laundry, kids do all kinds of jobs. 5个兄弟姐妹,最后三个是在家里出生的。妈妈很为孩子们互相照顾而骄傲,但是嘴上不说他们好,是一种负面的激励。家里买下洗衣店那年Maxine 9岁,兄弟姐妹的任务是照顾小的,他们带着小婴儿去洗衣店,孩子们做洗衣店里所有的工作

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52:59 - Dining, Eating, Family Time. Mom sometime at home, cooked evening meal, one of kids, on bike, took to the laundry, whoever in the laundry ate with her father. There were 2 kitchens at home, and a small kitchen was built in the back of the laundry. Meal is important, family always ate together. 晚餐,吃饭和家庭时间。妈妈有时在家里做晚餐,其中一个孩子骑自行车,去洗衣店里送饭,给在洗衣店里的其他孩子和爸爸一起吃。家里有2个厨房,洗衣店的后面也建了一个小厨房。吃饭很重要,家里人总是在一起吃

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56:45 - Family current situation, Carmen retired social worker, George head of computer in the county, Norman architecture, Joe police department dispatcher used to be aircraft police in Vietnam, Karin lawyer. Stockton is a place rural and urban all in one, now bigger and divided, center of town no longer center, the first city in the country go bankrupt 家里目前的状况,Carmen是一个退休社会工作者,George 是县里计算机部门的头头,Norman是建筑师,Joe是警察,之前在越南做空警,Karin 是律师。斯托克顿是一个城乡合一的地方,现在扩大了,也分区了,城镇的中心也不再是中心,它是全美第一个破产的城市

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60:38 - Father is quite, mother always sold what he was really thinking. Father once in a while would say something, he cared literature, similar thinking as Maxine. Before came to the US, mother was a doctor, father was well educated. When father died, Norman suggested he should be granted as a scholar and honorable. He left china during the war, no choice for them. 父亲很安静,总是由妈妈说出他心里想的。父亲偶尔表达自己,也是很文绉绉的,跟Maxine的爱好很像。来美国之前,妈妈是医生,爸爸也是高学历。父亲去世的时候,Norman建议称爸爸为荣誉学者,他在战争时期离开中国,他们那时侯没有选择

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68:30 - Pressure at school, studying math and science, went to UC Berkeley, major engineer, since she had to get a job to make money, but a big mistake, and changed to English. Berkeley was free education before her time. She paid $75 a semester, and $90 per month for dorm. She felt guilty on useless degree in English. 在学校的压力,为了好找工作和挣钱,在加州大学伯克利分校工程专业学习数学和科学,但是是个很大的错误,于是改修了英文。 伯克利在她入学之前是免费的,她每学期需要交75元,每月需要交住宿费90元,她为学无用的英文而感到内疚

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80:26 - Social life and politics, people came to laundry, met in association meeting, and discussed Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, following the war. On June 4th parade during WWII people carried Chinese flag that covered the street and collected money as donation. After Mao took over, people lost connection with family in China 社会活动与政治。人们来到洗衣店,参加家族联合会的会议,谈论战争中的蒋介石和毛泽东,二战期间的6月4号人们拉着覆盖整条街的中华民国国旗游行,并收集捐款。毛执政后,人们与国内的家人失去联系

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89:02 - About writing, couldn’t keep up writing poetry in college even for numbers of years after graduated, married to Earll Kingston, got one kid, moved to Hawaii. Hawaii is beautiful, started painting, while painting, writing came back and was like crossing training. When visited little island, sketched words every scene she could think of, writing started right from there. 关于写作,在大学和毕业后许多年都不能坚持写诗,跟Earll Kingston结婚后有一个孩子,并搬到夏威夷。夏威夷很美,开始画画,同时找回了写作就像一个交叉训练。在去小岛旅行的时候,看到景致就描绘一下感想,写作就从那里开始了

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96:04 - In 2004, Maxine and Ted Olson were honoree doctoral at the University of the Pacific. All siblings were at the ceremony. Dean read the story when they were young, siblings refused hitting a little who did something wrong, and hit by other students. They all had same value, and all did what big sister Maxine did. Father wrote calligraphy. 2004年Maxine和Ted Olson被太平洋大学授予荣誉博士学位,所有兄弟姐妹都来参加庆典。院长读到他们小时候的故事,当其他同学都去打一个范了错误的同学的时候,他们跟大姐Maxine一样都没有这样做,他们有着相同的价值观。父亲写书法

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104:17 - First book, jotted down notes, then wrote in standard way, the 3rd publisher took it. 5000 prints first. It was a short book with a beautiful girl on cover, John Leonard picked the book wrote review on NY times, the book got back to print. She relieved after both parents were ok, they read after translated into Chinese, Chinese translation is smoother than English. 第一本书,写下笔记,再用标准语言写作,第三家出版社接受了,最初印刷5千册。这是一本封面是一个漂亮女孩的短故事,John Leonard选择为这本书在纽约时报上发表书评,这本书得以增印。他父母读了之后认可,她松口气,父母读的中文译本,没有英文原文那么尖锐

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116:47 - Reputation, Model of Asian American, First poetry was just oral, start writing poetry since it is easier, no strict to form, then took paragraph, put into lines, wrote about self, social, characters, all kinds of people that live in a real world. 声誉,亚裔美国人的榜样,第一首诗只是口头的,开始写诗是因为它很容易,没有严格的形式,然后写段落,排成行,写出关于自我,社会,人物,生活在真实世界中的各种人。

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125:05 - Margin has different meanings, brought into life, derived from David Henry Huang’s play, a private place on side is writing. When older, she can get into the middle among men or kids. Border between fiction and non-fiction, between poetry and prose, from narrow to wide, she lives in them also create them as writing and moving around crossing borders. 边缘具有不同的含义,带如生活中,灵感来自黄哲伦的戏剧,一个在边上的私人空间对于她来说就是写作。年长以后,她可以位于男人或孩子的中心。边缘在小说与非小说之间,诗歌与散文之间,从狭义到义,她生活在它们之中,也在写作和穿梭边界的时候创建它们

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135:31 - For her 8.5 months old granddaughter, mixed mixed her ancestry, she is learning Japanese, would talk to her mother, like her bilingual, whether learn Chinese or not. Her son is a good father. Grandfather banned by Japanese, wedding bouquet castle 60 years building was bombed and renovated and rebuilt history reconciling itself personal level global level 她的8.5个月大的孙女,两代混血,她正在学习日语,以便与她的母亲交谈,希望孙女双语,无论她是否学汉语。她的儿子是一个好父亲。祖父被日本禁止,婚礼城堡60年的建筑遭遇轰炸和翻新,历史在个人层面和全球层面和解

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147:00 - Where is home? California is home, Stockton is hometown, Hawaii connects with land, ocean and nature, feels home; Main person is mom. Mom is artist, Maxine is the translator. Her Legacy, did something changed the English Language, made new form for novel , changed the autobiography, changed the way people telling themselves. 家在哪里?加利福尼亚是家,斯托克顿是故乡,夏威夷与土地,海洋和自然相连,给人以家的感觉。主要人物是妈妈。妈妈是艺术家,她是妈妈的讲解员。Maxine的遗产,为英文这种语言做了一些改变,为小说创建了新形式,改变了自传体,改变了人们讲述自己的方式

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