December 2009 Indie Next List
“Ha Jin never fails to amaze. His newest work, a collection of short stories, focuses on individuals who struggle to reconcile their cultural identities with their new and disparate surroundings. A Good Fall is at times tragic, at others humorous, yet persistently enchanting.”
— Bridget Allison, Phoenix Books, Essex, VT
National Book Award-winner Ha Jin brings us a collection of stories that delve into the experiences of Chinese immigrants in America. All of Ha Jin's characters struggle in situations that stir their conflicting desires to remain attached to their native land and traditions while also exploring their newfound social and economic freedoms. 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. In each of these deeply moving, acutely insightful, and often strikingly humorous stories we are reminded again of the storytelling prowess of this superb writer.