A Free Life

  • by Ha Jin
  • Narrated by Jason Ma
  • 21 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Introducing the Wu family: father Nan, mother Pingping, and son Taotao. We meet them as they arrange to fully sever ties with China in the aftermath of the 1989 massacre at Tiananmen Square, and to begin a new, free life in the United States. At first, their future seems well-assured. Nan's graduate work in political science at Brandeis University ensures him a teaching position. But after the fallout from Tiananmen, his disillusionment turns him toward his first love, poetry. Leaving his studies, he takes on a variety of menial jobs as Pingping works for a wealthy widow as a cook and housekeeper. As Nan struggles to adapt to a new language and culture, his love of poetry and literature sustains him through difficult, lean years. As Pingping and Taotao slowly adjust to American life, Nan still feels a strange attachment to his homeland, though he violently disagrees with Communist policy. But severing all ties, including his love for a woman who rejected him in his youth, proves to be more difficult than he could have ever imagined.


What the Critics Say

"A poet as well as a fiction writer, Ha Jin writes of sacrifice, isolation, and valor with uncommon perception." (Booklist)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Did not enjoy it.

I did not enjoy this audiobook. Not sure if I would have liked it as a "regular" book, but I didn't like the reader. He tries to use a Chinese accent for some of the characters, but it comes off as mocking & inauthentic.
Read full review

- Robin

Better to read

I couldn't get past the first 7 hours. Accents were annoying and the repetition of names was boring. I'll get the book from the library and read it because I liked the original reviews...but I'm not going to finish listening to it.
Read full review

- Judy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.