I really can't drool enough over The Bridegroom: Stories by Ha Jin. I can't say that I "enjoyed" the stories in the collection, which are all sad and depressing, but I'm glad I read them and wished the collection had been much longer.
The stories, set in modern-day Muji City, China, all revolve around actions or decisions and the resulting reactions or consequences. They represent slice-of-life stories, many of which left me wondering about what happened next to some of the characters.
I know almost nothing about China, which is also one of the few places I've never had any interest in visiting. I did enjoy reading my friend's son's blog when he and his wife lived and worked in China for a year, but, of course, the experience and outlook of a Westerner living overseas is very different than that of an ex-pat writing about China from his new home in America. Reading these stories made me want to learn much more about modern-day China and the lives of the people living there.
Amazingly enough, with all of his critical acclaim and bestseller status, this was my first exposure to Ha Jin. I'm really looking forward to reading his National Bood Award winner, Waiting: A Novel, which I purchased at the same time, next.
And can I please write like Ha Jin when I'm all grown up? Please, please, please.
My overall rating of The Bridegroom: Stories is an A.