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A Good Fall by Ha Jin
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A Good Fall

by Ha Jin

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215954,204 (3.84)51
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» See also 51 mentions

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A Good Fall by Ha Jin is a collection of short stories dealing with the lives of Chinese immigrants to the U. S. He presents a wide range of protagonists from a graduate student and young professor to a presser in a garment factory to a monk and draws their characters so well you feel like you know them, even within the confines of a short story. He treats their challenges with such a light touch that it's easy to read. A delightful worthwhile read. ( )
  RebaRelishesReading | Sep 29, 2012 |
This book contains some very adult content, but since it's a collection of short stories, teachers can pick and choose which stories they use. All the stories center around the struggles that Asians and Asian Americans deal with on a day-to-day basis. Provides a structure for a class discussion about what these peoples' conflicts mean in the life they are trying to start in America. The drama of daily life as well as the identity conflict many first generation Asian Americans feel as they find themselves caught between their parents way of life and that of "standard" American life. The ideals of their parents such as respect, honoring parental wishes, cultural traditions, language, and even choices in marriage conflict, sometimes violently providing a dramatic look at the very real challenges life brings for many Asian Americans. A great book for a social studies or world literature class.
  rachelhunnell1 | Nov 5, 2011 |
I really enjoyed this book of short stories about immigrants in Flushing, Queens.
His writing was concise and detailed and very relevant. As someone who lives in Queens
and who is familiar with the neighborhood, I found each story fascinating. ( )
  JoyStitch | Jan 23, 2011 |
Stories of Chinese immigrant life in Flushing, New York. Especially recommended for writers of short stories. Jin's prose remains concise, his plots stunning in their spiraling convolution, and his characters are unforgettable, likable or not.
  EugeniaKim | Oct 26, 2010 |
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Everyone has something he wants to escape: a job, relationship, family feud or -- like the characters in Ha Jin's new short fiction collection -- a country. Rather than tell stories of emigration, though, Ha Jin, who left China in 1985, depicts moments when one's old life crashes into new routines, resurrecting all that has been lost and gained via escape.

Each story in A Good Fall siphons readers into straightforward plots about Chinese immigrants from diverse backgrounds now living in Flushing, home to New York City's second largest Chinatown. The characters' 180-degree turns are most often made in response to stress and heartache inextricably connected to immigrant life. All grapple with an intense set of expatriate problems. Wanping's love blossoms for a prostitute whose debts keep her tied to the water trade. A disenfranchised, 28-year-old monk thinks life is over because he can't pay his debts back in China. Yet delicate generational and cultural differences subtly define their unique situations, and Ha Jin unpacks the small details of their largely indistinct lives in ways that reveal their larger-than-life personal implications.
 
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My sister Yuchin and I used to write each other letters. It took more than ten days for the mail to reach Sichuan, and I usually only wrote her once a month. After Yuchin married, she was often in trouble, but I no longer thought about her every day. Five years ago her marriage began falling apart.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307378683, Hardcover)

In his first book of stories since The Bridegroom was published in 2000 ("Finely wrought . . . Every story here is cut like a stone."—Chicago Sun-Times), National Book Award–winning Ha Jin gives us a collection that delves into the experience of Chinese immigrants in America.
 
With the same profound attention to detail that is a hallmark of his previous acclaimed works of fiction, Ha Jin depicts here the full spectrum of immigrant life and the daily struggles—some minute, some grand—faced by these intriguing individuals.
 
A lonely composer takes comfort in the antics of his girlfriend's parakeet; young children decide to change their names so that they might sound more "American," unaware of how deeply this will hurt 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 be loyal to their homeland and its traditions as they explore and avail themselves of the freedom that life in a new country offers.
 
In these stark, deeply moving, acutely insightful, and often strikingly humorous stories, we are reminded once again of the storytelling prowess of this superb writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:51 -0400)

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These stories delves into the experiences of Chinese immigrants in America.

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