The Woman Warrior
by Maxine Hong Kingston
Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
For the male counterpart to The Woman Warrior, read Kingston's China Men.
It's not clear whether or not Hua Mulan (or Fa Mu Lan, as Kingston and Disney refer to her) actually existed in the flesh or only through myths and legends. Her story is recorded in "The Ballad of Hua Mulan," however. (Source)