BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

A Good Fall by Ha Jin [in Library Journal]

Good FallWith an enviable literary reputation built on award-winning titles set in China, poet/novelist/short story writer Jin recently debuted his first U.S.-based novel, A Free Life, about the Americanization of a Chinese immigrant family. While the 12 stories in his latest release continue to explore familiar immigrant themes – assimilation, isolation, generation gaps – Jin again captures the smallest details to create uniquely resonating portraits of everyday people: a lonely composer befriends his girlfriend’s parakeet in “A Composer and His Parakeet,” a man suspects his wife of infidelity in “The Beauty,” an elderly couple are shunned by their American grandchildren in “Children as Enemies,” a garment worker falls for a prostitute in “The House Behind a Weeping Cherry,” a sickly monk’s suicide attempt literally proves to be “a good fall” as he is reborn to a promising new life in the eponymous final story.

Verdict: Beyond his characters’ ethnic backgrounds, Jin’s writing clearly has mass appeal, most notably exemplified by National Book Award winner Waiting. This new work will be welcomed by any reader and is an excellent companion piece to The Bridegroom, a collection whose characters are the Chinese counterparts of characters featured here.

Review: “Fiction,” Library Journal, October 15, 2009

Readers: Adult

Published: 2009



Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.