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Jin, Ha. A FREE LIFE. New York City, NY: Pantheon Books, 2007. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 660 pages. As New/As New.

The author's fourth novel. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Presents Ha Jin's first "American" novel. "Newcomers to the United States, Nan Wu and his wife, Pingping, have just brought their six-year-old son, Taotao, from China, so that they can all begin a free life in the West. Unsure but optimistic, the Wu family sets out on an uncharted journey through contemporary America in search not only of financial stability but also a sense of belonging, the tantalizing heart of the American Dream. Luminous, deeply moving, giving us both a bracingly intimate portrait of one family and a brilliant rendering of the vast, surprising, and challenging new homeland they discover together" (Publisher's blurb). Began in 2000 on a Guggenheim Fellowship, the novel has taken Ha Jin eight years, off and on, to write. At almost 700 pages, it is his longest work to date. It is also Ha Jin's second breakthrough, as a Chinese expatriate, a writer, and dare one say it, a human being: Ha Jin came to the United States as an adult barely able to speak English. He still has difficulty speaking it and has said that the main impetus for writing is the opportunity it affords him to sit down and write and re-write, edit and re-edit, and start all over again if necessary until he is satisfied with the result. He uses his acquired language as a storyteller and poet of the first rank who bears witness to the collision between personal experience (in all its pain, beauty, and complexity) and the arbitrary suffering that History, Fate, and Destiny inflict upon all human beings, whether they be powerful or powerless. His sympathy for every human being in all his or her particularity is unsurpassed among contemporary American writers. "Ha Jin profoundly understands the conflict between the individual and society, between the timeless universality of the human heart and constantly shifting politics of the moment. With wisdom, restraint, and empathy for all his characters, he vividly reveals the complexities and subtleties of a world and a people we desperately need to know" (Award Citation, National Book Award). "Reading Ha Jin is like falling in love: You experience anxiety, profound self-consciousness, and an uncomfortable sensitivity to the world, and somehow it's a pleasure. Like the best writers, Ha Jin sneaks emotional power into the plainest sentences" (The New Yorker Magazine). A "must-have" title for Ha Jin collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed and dated (in the month and year of publication) in black fountain pen on the title page by the author: "Ha Jin 11/04/07". It is signed directly on the page, not on a tipped-in page or a bookplate. Laid-in is a copy of the Souvenir Program of the event itself, "Ha Jin: A Free Life", during which the signing was held. This is one of very few signed and dated copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online, is highly collectible as such, and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. Many copies were damaged in transit by the publisher and have major flaws even if they are new. A very scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for "Ocean of Words". Winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award For Short Fiction for "Under the Red Flag". Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Award in 1999 for "Waiting". One of the finest living American writers. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER HA JIN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0375424652. $70.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on May 29, 2017.