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Book - 2000 | 1st Vintage International ed.
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The story of Lin Kong, a man living in two worlds, struggling with the conflicting claims of two utterly different women as he moves through the political minefields of a society designed to regulate his every move and stifle the promptings of his innermost heart.
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 2000, c1999.
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed.
ISBN: 9780375706417
0375706410
Branch Call Number: JIN
Characteristics: 308 p. ; 22 cm.

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BostonPL_LauraB Mar 02, 2016

I was a little worried that the writing in this was going to be like other major award winners - over fanciful and pretentious - but thankfully, it wasn't. This novel wasn't bad, and I quite like the writing, but unfortunately the plot (of which there was not much of) was slow and boring. When I arrived at the end of the book, I found that I couldn't really give any reasons to read this book, and so I wouldn't immediately recommend this novel. Because although it wasn't bad, it just wasn't particularly memorable either. This is pretty firmly in the "meh" category for me. However, if you already have the intention of wanting to read this novel, I wouldn't tell you not to read it either. I don't know if any of that make sense, but I think it pretty much describes a 3/5 star book for me.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 16, 2014

In this winner of the National Book Award, Ha Jin portrays contemporary China after the Cultural Revolution. The limitations imposed by tradition conflict with his characters’ modern expectations for love. His haiku-like prose thoughtfully details one man’s determination to find love, no matter how long the wait.

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No_Stalkers4Me
Jul 30, 2014

Recommended reading for those who are attracted to "emotionally unavailable" partners.

p
papillon63
Oct 25, 2012

Just discovered this author. Loved the book especially the note on which it ended - cruel humour, but so funny and so, simply HUMAN and man-like :)

m
mudflapflossy
May 16, 2012

What struck me was its honesty. You may downright dislike some of the characters, it’s almost impossible not too as they seem to make such ludicrous life choices. Once I turned off my inclination to judge, to shut down my mind set of always thinking like a westerner, I thoroughly enjoyed this simple, fable-like tale. Ha Jin offers poetic insight into a foreign way of life. I believe I came away from this with a little better understanding of Chinese society. Found it interesting that the author based this on a true story. Winner of The National Book Award of 1999

hermlou Oct 30, 2011

Takes place in Communist China. Dr. Lin Kong is married to Shuyu and falls in love with Manna, a nurse in the hospital. There is strict regulation of a courtship and a strict rule about having only one child. Interesting story includes details of customs and meals which differ from ours, but the emotions are the same. I enjoyed the plot and writing style.

Amandatoryrant May 03, 2011

Beautiful writing, interesting story, compelling characters. I repeatedly recommend this book and author to friends looking for something out of their usual range.

g
GrumpyDave
Dec 11, 2010

1999 National Book Award - Fiction

c
Cabby
Dec 06, 2007

Finalist of the 2000 Pulitzer prize for fiction.

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SPL_STARR Jun 23, 2015

"Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu."

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