With the same profound attention to detail that is a hallmark of his previous acclaimed works of fiction, National Book Award winner Ha Jin gives us a collection of stories that delves into the experience of Chinese immigrants in America. Ha Jin depicts here the full spectrum of immigrant life and the daily struggles - some minute, some grand - faced by these men, women, and children.
A lonely composer takes comfort in the songs of his girlfriend's parakeet; a group of young children declare their wish to change their names so that they might sound more 'American", unaware of how deeply this will sadden their grandparents; a Chinese professor of English attempts to defect with the help of a reluctant former student.
All of Ha Jin's characters struggle in situations that stir within them a desire to remain attached to their native land and traditions, as they also explore and take advantage of the newfound freedom, both social and economic, that life in a new country offers. In these deeply moving, acutely insightful, and often strikingly humorous stories, we are reminded again of the storytelling prowess of this superb writer.
©2009 Ha Jin; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"With piercing insight, Jin paints a vast, fascinating portrait of a neighborhood and a people in flux." (Publishers Weekly)
"Jin again captures the smallest details to create uniquely resonating portraits of everyday people....This new work will be welcomed by any reader." (Library Journal)
I expected stories, but what I got was more interesting, "snapshots" of lives.
None of the stories were complete, nor were they meant to be, they are simply a peek into lives, a short time during the ongoing cycle of life.
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