However, several female Asian scholars have also criticized Kingston's work. Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara , stated that Kingston's "representations of patriarchal, abusive Chinese history were playing to a desire to look at Asians as an inferior spectacle".  Writer Katheryn M. Fong took exception to Kingston's "distortion of the histories of China and Chinese America" and denounced Kingston for her "over-exaggerated" depiction of Chinese and Chinese American cultural misogyny.  "The problem is that non-Chinese are reading [Kingston's] fiction as true accounts of Chinese and Chinese American history," wrote Fong, who noted that her own father "was very loving" towards her.  
Inside, the school smelled smartly of varnish and wood smoke from the potbellied stove. On gloomy days, not unknown in upstate New York in this region south of Lake Ontario and east of Lake Erie, the windows emitted a vague, gauzy light, not much reinforced by ceiling lights. We squinted at the blackboard, that seemed far away since it was on a small platform, where Mrs. Dietz's desk was also positioned, at the front, left of the room. We sat in rows of seats, smallest at the front, largest at the rear, attached at their bases by metal runners, like a toboggan; the wood of these desks seemed beautiful to me, smooth and of the red-burnished hue of horse chestnuts. The floor was bare wooden planks. An American flag hung limply at the far left of the blackboard and above the blackboard, running across the front of the room, designed to draw our eyes to it avidly, worshipfully, were paper squares showing that beautifully shaped script known as Parker Penmanship.