Waiting

Waiting

Book - 1999
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"In Waiting , Ha Jin portrays the life of Lin Kong, a dedicated doctor torn by his love for two women: one who belongs to the New China of the Cultural Revolution, the other to the ancient traditions of his family's village. Ha Jin profoundly understands the conflict between the individual and society, between the timeless universality of the human heart and constantly shifting politics of the moment. With wisdom, restraint, and empathy for all his characters, he vividly reveals the complexities and subtleties of a world and a people we desperately need to know."--Judges' Citation, National Book Award

"Ha Jin's novel could hardly be less theatrical, yet we're immediately engaged by its narrative structure, by its wry humor and by the subtle, startling shifts it produces in our understanding of characters and their situation."-- The New York Times Book Review

"Subtle and complex--his best work to date. A moving meditation on the effects of time upon love."-- The Washington Post

"A high achievement indeed."--Ian Buruma, The New York Review of Books

"A portrait of Chinese provincial life that terrifies with its emptiness even more than with its all-pervasive vulgarity. The poet in [Jin] intersperses these human scenes with achingly beautiful vignettes of natural beauty."-- Los Angeles Times

"A simple love story that transcends cultural barriers--. From the idyllic countryside to the small towns in northeast China, Jin's depictions are filled with an earthy poetic grace--. Jin's account of daily life in China is convincing and rich in detail."-- The Chicago Tribune

"Compassionate, earthy, robust, and wise, Waiting blends provocative allegory with all-too-human comedy. The result touches and reveals, bringing to life a singular world in its spectacular intricacy."--Gish Jen, author of Who's Irish?

"A remarkable love story. Ha Jin's understanding of the human heart and the human condition transcends borders and time. Waiting is an outstanding literary achievement."--Lisa See, author of On Gold Mountain
Publisher: Toronto, ON: Random, 1999
ISBN: 9780375706417
0375706410
9780375406539
Branch Call Number: JIN
Characteristics: 308 p

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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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