The anti-feminist backlash this novel seems to elicit (e.g., on this review page) should be testimony to how provocative it is, and how many assumptions it can challenge.
As for it being a misrepresentation of Chinese culture, well, it's a subjective account. It's the culture through Maxine's eyes (and her family's eyes); it is not meant to be an objective anthropological study. And I did not find it at all exoticizing. In fact, it's a shame that MHK often gets mentioned in the same sentence as Amy Tan -- beyond the superficial similarity of both being Asian-American women, they have little in common. MHK does none of the silly exoticization that AT does, and at least to me, does not engage in the "Asians must be rescued by Western culture" ideology of AT. This is ultimately a personal, autobiographical account, that is neither judgmental nor self-pitying." "I didn't know beans about Chinese women when a friend put this book into my hands about 20+ years ago. Talk about a revelation. The Woman Warrior preceded Amy Tan's novels by at least a decade and went on to win several awards. It's about growing up Chinese American in California's Central Valley, working in the family laundry, and having to listen to her mother's stories that were designed to scare her into "good behavior." Some of these "talk stories" depicted women as fierce and strong warriors, while at the same time they were enslaved by their culture.This memoir is intense, mystical, introspective, and full of marvelous and unexpected twists and turns. If you haven't yet read it, now's your chance."