This beautiful collection of stories is centered around themes of immigration and fitting in in a new world. Some of the stories take place in China, but most in Flushing, New York. I listened to this on audio and each story had a different narrator which made the stories stand out. One of my favorites is about a pair of sisters, one in China and one in the U.S. who begin communicating via the internet. What had once been a loving relationship when they were writing letters becomes a source of irritation when there is such instant communication. Another story deals with the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren who have changed their names to be more American.
The themes in this book are also universal and would apply to anyone fitting in and trying new relationships and ways of being on for size.
I've seen many of Ha Jin's books on must read lists but never picked one up before. Sometimes I like to read a collection of short stories before committing to a novel and that was a good choice here. I look forward to committing to one of Jin's novels soon and would definitely recommend this book.