In her unique style of combining fact with fiction, she raises a lot of issues on the low status assigned to women in Chinese culture and condemns the sexism in this culture.
opens with the story of Maxine Hong Kingston's forgotten aunt, the "No Name Woman." She is a sister her father does not acknowledge as ever having been born because of the humiliation she brought to the family.
Maxine Hong Kingston is the best recognized Asian-American writer today and her work attracts attention from many circles—Chinese-Americans, feminist scholars and literary critics.
Her works are usually an admixture of fiction and fact, memory and imagination and their subjects range from the difficulties and complexities in the life of the Chinese woman to the immigrant life of Asian-Americans.
Having been sworn to perpetual silence, the woman loses herself in this male-dominated society.
For Kingston, who perceives this situation from her American orientation, these circumstances are unacceptable.
A woman who has been thus hounded to her grave should be allowed to rest in peace, but for her family to want to obliterate all memories of her is unacceptable.Carrying this point further, Kingston ironically portrays the way such women outcasts are treated in Chinese culture.Instead of allowing the victims to go elsewhere and start life afresh, they are made to stay in the family and suffer humiliation at the hands of family members.It condemns such misogynist sayings as, “It is better to feed geese than girls”.In her characteristically ironic tone the author states: “To be a woman, to have a daughter in starvation time was a waste enough”.In conclusion, one can say that No Name Woman is a practical demonstration of a woman writer expressing her own ideas rather than trying to write like a man.Kingston’s creative process is perhaps enhanced by the fact that she was writing at a time when women’s lives, so often ignored, were becoming the focus of much contemporary writing.Thus when Kingston says her aunt “offered us up for a charm that vanished with tiredness,” she is actually lashing at the fact that her aunt should be ostracized for doing what is natural.As a woman, her aunt is expected to stay at home and wait for the return of her husband whose face has become a blur to her.Kingston lashes at the misogynist practices that are so common in Chinese culture and which her parents, Asian-American immigrants, still cling to.The whole society, including her own family, sees Kingston’s aunt as an outcast because she has committed adultery, but not a single question is raised as to which man is involved.