Struggles. The twelve short stories in Ha Jin’s new collection titled, A Good Fall, present snapshots of the Chinese immigrant experience in Flushing, Queens, New York. The characters are mostly in transition, from one type of life in China to a different life in New York. Relationships are strained, expectations are mismatched, and struggle seems constant. Young people and old are finding ways to adjust to new lives in a new world. Many short story writers sacrifice some component of their fiction because of the efficiency of the medium. Ha Jin develops his characters in ways that bring them to robust life. His descriptive language provides just enough color to create real places. The plot structure works for each story. In all, his writing is well-crafted, and the stories in A Good Fall will bring pleasure to most readers, and a resonance for any immigrant.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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