book review: a good fall

A Good Fall is a collection of short stories by Ha Jin. They’re set in America (many of them in Flushing, New York) and are about Chinese immigrants. Most of the stories are at least a little bit funny, playing on impossible situations the characters are put into, like helping to hide a former mentor who’s come to the U.S. to defect but ends up as an undocumented worker. Or the husband whose mother comes to visit on a 6-month visa and tries to wreck his marriage because the wife is at school and doesn’t cook and clean for him “like a wife should.”

I love how Ha Jin writes so simply and clearly. You always understand the chain of logic protagonists are following even if you completely disagree. They’re very interesting little stories. Highly recommended.

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