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Publisher's Summary

With the same profound attention to detail that is a hallmark of his previous acclaimed works of fiction, National Book Award winner Ha Jin gives us a collection of stories that delves into the experience of Chinese immigrants in America. Ha Jin depicts here the full spectrum of immigrant life and the daily struggles - some minute, some grand - faced by these men, women, and children.

A lonely composer takes comfort in the songs of his girlfriend's parakeet; a group of young children declare their wish to change their names so that they might sound more "American", unaware of how deeply this will sadden 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 their native land and traditions, as they also explore and take advantage of the newfound freedom, both social and economic, that life in a new country offers. In these deeply moving, acutely insightful, and often strikingly humorous stories, we are reminded again of the storytelling prowess of this superb writer.

©2009 Ha Jin (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Jin again captures the smallest details to create uniquely resonating portraits of everyday people....This new work will be welcomed by any reader." (Library Journal)

 "With piercing insight, Jin paints a vast, fascinating portrait of a neighborhood and a people in flux." (Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about A Good Fall

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A different view

I expected stories, but what I got was more interesting, "snapshots" of lives.
None of the stories were complete, nor were they meant to be, they are simply a peek into lives, a short time during the ongoing cycle of life.

4 people found this helpful

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A kindly heart in harsh Chinese New York

Flushing, Queens is the glittering powerhouse of Chinese (and Korean) New York. But Ha JIn's people are not the ones in fine suits. A cook folding dumplings, year after year, in the sweaty kitchen of a subway stall; a penniless Buddhist monk exploited mercilessly by a temple abbot; a shoestring grad student working nights as driver for three prostitutes -- such are the individuals who glow in the light of Ha Jin's sympathy. To the story frame of low-end immigration Ha Jin adds insider understanding of the cultures, values, and insatiable family obligations Chinese New Yorkers live with. His prose moves in calm ripples, without melodrama. He faces hurtful events with a steady and kindly heart.

Ha Jin has written several novels, and I like them, but for me shortish stories like these are his most perfect works. The work especially well in audio format. He's a man I wish I knew.

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Missing story

Would you listen to A Good Fall again? Why?

I also have the book version and so am listening to both - no need to listen again

Any additional comments?

In the hardback book version, there is an additional story, called "The Beauty" I was to read 3 stories for my book group and "The Beauty" was one of them - don't understand why it is missing from the audible version. Had to get the hard copy of the book (from the library) to read it.