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There's a political allegory here, of course, but it grows naturally from these characters' hearts. Neither Lin nor Manna is especially ideological, and the tumultuous events occurring around them go mostly unnoticed. They meet during a forced military march, and have their first tender moment during an opera about a naval battle. (While the audience shouts, "Down with Japanese Imperialism!" the couple holds hands and gazes dreamily into each other's eyes.) When Lin is in Goose Village one summer, a mutual acquaintance rapes Manna; years later, the rapist appears on a TV report titled "To Get Rich Is Glorious," after having made thousands in construction. Jin resists hammering ideological ironies like these home, but totalitarianism's effects on Lin are clear:
Let me tell you what really happened, the voice said. All those years you waited torpidly, like a sleepwalker, pulled and pushed about by others' opinions, by external pressure, by your illusions, by the official rules you internalized. You were misled by your own frustration and passivity, believing that what you were not allowed to have was what your heart was destined to embrace.Ha Jin himself served in the People's Liberation Army, and in fact left his native country for the U.S. only in 1985. That a non-native speaker can produce English of such translucence and power is truly remarkable--but really, his prose is the least of the miracles here. Improbably, Jin makes an unconsummated 18-year love affair loom as urgent as political terror or war, while history-changing events gain the immediacy of a domestic dilemma. Gracefully phrased, impeccably paced, Waiting is the kind of realist novel you thought was no longer being written. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Meticulously developed plot and setting. Explores the physical, social, cultural, and psychological atmosphere of China during the cultural revolution, from the point of view of a... Read morePublished 7 days ago by E L Andrews
A beautifully written window into a China I knew nothing aboutPublished 28 days ago by Ray D. Krueger Koplin
A simple love story between a married Chinese medical doctor, Lin Kong, and a nurse at his hospital, Manna, was skillfully woven into a study of conflicting choices between... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hoang Nguyen
Already have a copy, bought this for a friend as I think it is a book well worth reading. Got it at a good price. Delievered on time and in good condition.Published 3 months ago by XML
An interesting book. About choice, commitment, accountability and obligation. Ambivalence versus firm commitment and choice within a relationship and it's consequences. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Marieke van Heerde
This book was chosen for our book club to read, and I was looking forward to reading it as I love to learn about other cultures. Sadly this book was a huge disappointment. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Always Reading!
A lovely book that requires patience= as the main character waits for life to happen.
He is not aware that life moves on in quiet movements, An interesting look at Chinese... Read more
This was the first book of Ha Jin's that I have read and it won't be the last. One really feels transported to northeastern, "revolutionary" China - specifically to the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sanjay Mathur
Personal trial and tribulation in China after the red guards, life time of service in the army, breaking away from village life and the realization that everything is not what it... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer