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Download A Good Fall: Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Good Fall: Stories, by Ha Jin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (788 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ha Jin Narrator: Bernadette Dunne, Carrington MacDuffie, Scott Brick, Tai Sammons, Ray Porter, Robertson Dean, Paul Michael Garcia, Anthony Heald, Kate Reading, Eddie Lopez, Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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National Book Award-winner Ha Jin brings us a collection of stories that delve into the experiences of Chinese immigrants in America. All of Ha Jin’s characters struggle in situations that stir their conflicting desires to remain attached to their native land and traditions while also exploring their newfound social and economic freedoms.

A lonely composer takes comfort in the songs of his girlfriend’s parakeet; a group of young children declare their wish to change their names so that they might sound more “American,” unaware of how deeply this will sadden their grandparents; a Chinese professor of English attempts to defect with the help of a reluctant former student. In each of these deeply moving, acutely insightful, and often strikingly humorous stories we are reminded again of the storytelling prowess of this superb writer.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Quiet, careful, restrained prose—prose whose absence of flourish can, at times, make it all the more eloquent.”

    New York Times Book Review 

  • “In short, the storyteller’s art is richly on display here. Ha Jin has a singular talent for snaring a reader. His premises are gripping, his emotional bedrock hard and true…captivating.”

    Washington Post

  • “This may be Ha Jin’s best work yet, his stories often ascending to the mystical penumbra we expect of Singer, Malamud, or O’Connor.”

    Huffington Post

  • “[Jin] is a master of the straightforward line; he makes the most of his sparseness…no-frills sentences about Chinese immigrants who lead no-frills lives in New York.”

    New Republic

  • “Jin employs a simple, workmanlike style to match the lives of his characters. But instead of feeling flat-footed, his unvarnished prose adds a no-nonsense charm to the stories.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Ha Jin’s masterful storytelling persists—meticulous, droll, convincing, populated with memorable characters—not to mention the indelible portrait of an immigrant life he gives us. What is also consistent is his prowess to study and reveal, often with heartfelt humor, the compromised and damaged heart and soul and the impact of time and history on ordinary people.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “National Book Award–winner Ha Jin continues his intimate, up-close look at Chinese immigrant life in A Good Fall with twelve stories…all artfully turned out in Jin’s quietly seismic style.”


  • “A collection of sublime moments…Perhaps Jin’s point is that despite all the suffering and turmoil involved in living in America, the strong may triumph here after all. It’s a message worth hearing these days.”

    Denver Post

  • “His best work so far, this collection includes immortal stories of the immigrant experience, comparable to the best of Malamud and Singer.”

    Kansas City Star, Top 100 Books

  • “In this new collection of stories, former Emory University professor Ha Jin reflects on the life of Chinese immigrants in America, crafting each fleeting portrait with a spare precision and attention to detail uncanny for a relative newcomer to the English language.”

    Atlanta magazine

  • “Everyone in A Good Fall struggles with past and present, and Ha Jin requires dynamic change of them all…these understated clashes of culture reveal careful thematic design and provide an almost 360-degree view of this select human experience: The concerns of people everywhere trying to make a better life come alive, one deceptively simple story at a time.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Included [here] are the rich imagery, attention to detail and wry humor that are Jin’s stock in trade and that, when taken together, offer—as fellow writer Francine Prose has noted—‘a compelling exploration of the…terrain that is the human heart.’”

    Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

  • “The author, whose novel Waiting won the National Book Award in 1999, writes with warmth and humor about what it means to be a bewildered stranger in a strange land, no matter where one is born.”

    People magazine

  • “With startling clarity, Jin explores the challenges, loneliness and uplift associated with discovering one’s place in America…With piercing insight, Jin paints a vast, fascinating portrait of a neighborhood and a people in flux.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Twelve engrossing, visceral tales about the difficulties faced by Chinese immigrants in America…Jin’s prose (and particularly his dialogue) is baldly direct, without flourishes but not without nuance.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “In his first story collection since 2000, Jin offers twelve visceral tales that read with the immediacy of videotaped interviews. Set in Queens, New York, they illuminate the difficulties faced by Chinese immigrants grappling with exploitative employers, demanding relatives, and the rub between American and Chinese attitudes towards family.”

    Barnes and Noble.com, Best Short Story Collections of 2009

  • “Each story is interesting and well narrated…Thanks to superb performances by the full cast, the distinct voices transition beautifully from the page to the ear…a great production.”


  • “Jin again captures the smallest details to create uniquely resonating portraits of everyday people…Jin’s writing clearly has mass appeal, most notably exemplified by National Book Award winner Waiting. This new work will be welcomed by any reader and is an excellent companion piece to The Bridegroom, a collection whose characters are the Chinese counterparts of characters featured here.”

    Library Journal

  • “Ha Jin’s ear and eye for Chinese American life are acute, as is his sense of how one life can encompass a full spectrum of irony, desperation, and magic…The quest for freedom yields surprising and resonant complications in Ha Jin’s sorrowful, funny, and bittersweet stories.”


  • “These tales are at once universal and particular…Jin writes with a direct, unfussy style that captures the odd cadences of these lives lived in transition…Jin tells every character’s story with a mixture of compassion and humor, conveying the validity of his or her daily worries but showing too that, as with all human complications, and no matter our cultural heritage, we are often our own worst enemies.”


  • “There are eleven readers for the twelve short stories. All were good selections for the particular story they read, some even demonstrating an appropriate accent which added to the ambience. Every reader captured the emotional struggles of the various characters. Excellent listening.”


  • A Kansas City Star Top 100 Book
  • Selected for the December 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Coyner Kelley | 2/9/2014

    " I have read two of the stories and am eager to read more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Cathy Aquila | 2/4/2014

    " 3 1/2 stars. I don't often read short stories but made an exception for Ha Jin's collection. Well told stories of the difficulties Asian immigrants face when trying to adjust to the American way of life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kyle | 2/3/2014

    " Jin's collection of short stories focuses on the experiences of Chinese immigrants dealing with issues ranging from having to support family members still in China, forced prostitution to pay off the debt associated with coming to the United States, and grandparents dealing with Americanized grandchildren. Though the book did provide some insight on the challenges and difficulties immigrants face, it seemed the focus of the stories was these specific issues and not on the characters themselves. So despite some interesting premises for each story (a man and a woman live together as husband and wife as they try to build enough money to bring over their real spouses from China) I felt the stories fizzled due to my lack of interest in the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Teatea | 2/3/2014

    " Consists of many short stories about Chinese Americans. Most of the stories are interesting but they are short and when some stories really have drawn my interest, it just ended and left me wonder what would have happened afterwards. I feel like some of the stories should have developed a little longer; like I had finished the appetizers, and starting the main course, then the plate was taking away from me, which still left me hungry. "

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