A Good Fall by Ha Jin

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In his first book of stories since The Bridegroom, National Book Award-winning author Ha Jin gives us a collection that delves into the experience of Chinese immigrants in America.

A lonely composer takes comfort in the antics of his girlfriend's parakeet; young children decide to change their names so 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 to remain loyal to their homeland and its traditions while also exploring the freedom that life in a new country offers.

Stark, deeply moving, acutely insightful, and often strikingly humorous, A Good Fall reminds us once again of the storytelling prowess of this superb writer.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Ha Jin

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Ha Jin left his native China in 1985 to attend Brandeis University. He is the author of the internationally bestselling novel Waiting, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Award, and War Trash, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize; the story collections The Bridegroom, which won the Asian American Literary Award, Under the Red Flag, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Ocean of Words, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award; the novels The Crazed and In the Pond; and three books of poetry. His latest novel, A Free Life is his first novel set in the United States. He lives in the Boston area and is a professor of English at Boston University.War Trash, The Crazed, The Bridegroom, Waiting, In the Pond, and Ocean of Words are available in paperback from Vintage Books.
Published October 28, 2009 by Vintage. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Good Fall

Kirkus Reviews

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“This is America, where it’s never too late to turn over a new page.” Rich imagery—“drizzle swayed in the wind like endless tangled threads,” “the streetlights were swimming in my eyes”—displays the author’s poetic gifts, but some of these tales belabor the obvious.

Oct 01 2009 | Read Full Review of A Good Fall: Stories

The New York Times

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The immigrants in Ha Jin’s latest story collection seem to be in exile not only from the China of their dreams and memories, but from their very sense of who they are.

Jan 03 2010 | Read Full Review of A Good Fall: Stories

Publishers Weekly

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From National Book Award–winner Jin (Waiting ) comes a new collection that focuses on Flushing, one of New York City's largest Chinese immigrant communities.

Sep 21 2009 | Read Full Review of A Good Fall: Stories

The Globe and Mail

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Ha Jin moves from tracking the upheavals inside China to illuminating the challenges facing Chinese immigrants in the United States

Feb 01 2010 | Read Full Review of A Good Fall: Stories

AV Club

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While the story makes no unexpected turns, Jin so thoroughly internalizes the professor’s anxieties that the story simultaneously makes him sympathetic and deftly sends him up.

Dec 22 2009 | Read Full Review of A Good Fall: Stories

Christian Science Monitor

They all wanted to appear rich and successful in their hometowns’ eyes,” an exploited young monk who’s been teaching kung fu without pay for two years laments in the title story of A Good Fall, Ha Jin’s first book of short stories since 2000.

Dec 10 2009 | Read Full Review of A Good Fall: Stories

Bookmarks Magazine

The Washington Post found fault with some of Jin’s phrasing, and most critics predictably deemed the stories uneven (but could not agree on the best.) According to the Dallas Morning News, however, all of these clever, moving stories are well worth reading.

Nov 29 2009 | Read Full Review of A Good Fall: Stories

Book Forum

For all their meticulous attention to the immigrant experience, Ha Jin's books leave little to the imagination.

Dec 01 2009 | Read Full Review of A Good Fall: Stories

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