November 9, 2016

By Jeffrey Wasserstrom | New York Times

222 pp. Pantheon Books. $25.95.

The China-born but United States-based author Xuefei Jin, who publishes under the nom de plume Ha Jin, is a writer of simple yet powerful gifts. These were on full display in his career-making 1999 novel, “Waiting,” which won him a National Book Award and many admirers. A poignant tale of thwarted love, set in Mao-era China, it featured sympathetic characters and a narrative in which each word seemed chosen with exquisite care. Adding to the wonder of the novel’s prose was the fact that it had been written in English, a choice made, as Jin told interviewers, to free himself of the warping effects that Maoist structures and strictures had placed on his native tongue.

Read the rest of the review on the New York Times website.