Kingston's parents immigrated to America from China. Her memoirs explore her search for identity as she tries to navigate the vast differences between the two cultures. Differences in language, traditions, and customs all complicate her search for self. The Woman Warrior moves through the time and space that separates China and the United States, creating an interesting dialogue between the two countries.
Kingston sets the book in a hybrid Chinese and American world to the effect that geographical place is less important than the spatial leaps allowed by storytelling.
Brave Orchid had more independence in China than she does in the United States.