Tuesday, January 06, 2015

2015 book 5

Ha Jin's A Map of Betrayal
So this is the story of a Chinese-American woman, the daughter of an infamous spy, who gets a Fulbright to teach abroad in China for a semester, where she attempts to find out more about her father's life (and his first wife!). All that is interspersed with her father's spy activities from 1949 onward. I was really into everything about the culture and politics in China--both historical and current--but the woman's sections were kind of a weak point for me. Her narrative voice is overly matter-of-fact, so it's pretty dry reading. The dialogue, too, is kind of stilted, and everyone is just super dumb all of the time. I also found the ending a bit disappointing. SIGH. B.

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