AnneW, November 26, 2010 (view all comments by AnneW)
Glimpses of a moment in this book come back to me months after reading. Storytelling at its best, covering a lifetime, so satisfying to read. Exceptional.
raymond bednar, January 4, 2010 (view all comments by raymond bednar)
Ha Jin has written a masterpiece in A Free Life. This is an attempt at the Great American Novel, by someone whose first language is not English, but Chinese. He succeeds. I imagine it is autobiographical in parts but he is also describing universal themes experienced by Americans and immigrant born Americans alike. In the last century Thomas Bell wrote an epic novel, Out of the Furnace, where he described the immigrant story of Slovak immigrants. Ha Jin's novel touches on similar themes but he is completely original in the poetry and descriptions of his characters. The book has an appendix of beautiful poetry that is attributed to the main character in the novel, which one can assume is Ha Jin himself. This novel will take the reader on a journey from China to America, back to China and finally back to America. I recommend this novel to everyone.
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CIM, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by CIM)
Ha Jin's _A Free Life_ is a moving portrait of the hopes, dreams, and perseverance of Chinese immigrants in the US. In a decade where the US experienced many challenges, _A Free Life_ reminded me why immigrants still yearn to live here and it made me a little bit less skeptical about the continuing relevance of the American Dream.
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A Free Life (Vintage International)
Used Trade Paper
0 stars -
Vintage Books USA -
From the acclaimed, award-winning author of "Waiting" and "War Trash" comes a new novel that eloquently re-imagines the American immigrant saga. Jin tells the story of the Wu family, as it sets out on a journey through contemporary America in search of a sense of belonging.
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