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Abstract

In his article "Negotiating War and Peace in Chân Không's Learning True Love and Kingston's The Fifth Book of Peace," Christopher Kocela analyzes Sister Chân Không's autobiography and Maxine Hong Kingston's memoir as examples of women's transBuddhist life writing about cultural differences and transnational communities in the wake of war. Kocela argues that Chân Không's autobiography advocates a form of community building based on a nondiscriminatory practice of empathy that supersedes the need for forgiveness or vindication among participants in the Vietnam War. Kingston's memoir, by contrast, advocates Chân Không's teaching while raising questions about the political implications of empathy in an age of pluralism. Kocela argues that a comparison of these texts reveals important differences in the way that Asian and Asian American women employ Buddhist principles of nondiscrimination and interbeing in negotiating issues of reconciliation and return in life writing.