Nancy's Reviews > A Free Life

A Free Life by Ha Jin
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Mar 28, 08

Read in March, 2008

I've read several books by Ha Jin, and this was the first time I was conscious of reading English as a Second Language. That's not actually a complaint. The story is about a Chinese man, a poet, who brings his family to the United States to pursue the American dream. The occasionally jarring idioms or strange wordings just kept me closer to the character. By the end of the book, especially after reading the poems in the appendix, I was in awe of the writer's achievement in English. Also, the story kept me involved - the ups and downs of family life in a foreign country, and the internal struggle of the would-be poet who runs a restaurant. He set the story in Lilburn, where I grew up, and only slightly modified names of places I knew well when I was a kid. That was interesting, too.
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