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genteXt January--Waiting

Ha Jin wrote short stories and poetry before breaking into novels with Waiting. The story of an army doctor who patiently goes about his duty and his life waiting for his one moment of happiness. Set in China during from the 60s to the 80s, Kirkus called the novel "A deceptively simple tale, written with extraordinary precision and grace," and said, "Ha Jin has established himself as one of the great sturdy realists still writing in a postmodern age."

"A simple love story that transcends cultural barriers. . . . Convincing and rich in detail. . . . Filled with an earthy poetic grace." —Chicago Tribune

"Luminous. . . . Eloquent. . . . [Waiting] provides. . . a crash course in Chinese society during and since the Cultural Revolution, and a more leisurely but nonetheless compelling exploration of the less exotic terrain that is the human heart." —The New York Times Book Review

"[Ha Jin's] writing is steeped in wit, rich metaphorical underpinnings and. . . endless and wonderful detail." —The Atlanta Journal Constitution

"Extraordinary. . . . A remarkably austere love story, suffused with irony and subtlety." --Chicago Sun-Times

"Waiting has the stripped down simplicity of a fable. . . It casts a spell that doesn't break once. . . . Jin has the kind of effortless command that most writers can only dream about." —The New York Times Magazine

“Achingly beautiful. . . . Ha Jin depicts the details of social etiquette, of food, of rural family relationships and the complex yet alarmingly primitive fabric of provincial life with that absorbed passion for minutiae characteristic of Dickens and Balzac.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“A vivid bit of storytelling, fluid and earthy. . . . Reminiscent of Hemingway in its scope, simplicity and precise language. . . . A graceful human allegory.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“A subtle beauty. . . . A sad, poignantly funny tale.” —The Boston Sunday Globe

“Impeccably deadpan. . . . Waiting turns, page by careful page, into a deliciously comic novel.” —Time

“Spare but compelling. . . . Jin’s craftsmanship and grasp of the universal language of the human heart make the book a worthwhile read.” —USA Today

“A wry, lovely novel. . . . Unexpectedly moving. . . . So quietly and carefully told that . . . we read on patiently, pleasantly distracted, wondering when something will happen. Only when we’ve finished do we understand just how much has, and how much waiting can be its own painful reward.” —Newsday

“Enlightening . . . a delicate rendering of the universal complications of love. . . . Ha Jin’s natural storytelling quietly captures the texture of daily life in a dual Chinese culture. . . . No detail is extraneous in this sad, funny, and often wise novel.” —The Village Voice Literary Supplement

“Remarkable . . . compellingly ingenious . . . gorgeously cinematic.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A wonderfully ironic novel . . . complex and sad as life. . . . It captures the difficulties of love in totalitarian China with sharp prose and a convincing portrayal of human vagaries.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

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

“[Jin] reveals some startlingly original insights on human life and love . . . in a narrative that dazzles the reader with its simplicity and grace.” —The Providence Sunday Journal

“[Waiting is] a masterpiece of realism and a work of ironic allegory, its mystifying, foreign world full of characters who grow more familiar with every page. . . . Through an accumulation of small, deft brushstrokes, 20th century China is superimposed onto the landscape of an ancient, painted scroll.” —The Plain Dealer

“A high achievement indeed.” —The New York Review of Books

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