Nanjing Requiem

Nanjing Requiem

Book - 2011
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The award-winning author of Waiting and War Trash returns to his homeland in a searing new novel that unfurls during one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century: the Rape of Nanjing.
In 1937, with the Japanese poised to invade Nanjing, Minnie Vautrin--an American missionary and the dean of Jinling Women's College--decides to remain at the school, convinced that her American citizenship will help her safeguard the welfare of the Chinese men and women who work there. She is painfully mistaken. In the aftermath of the invasion, the school becomes a refugee camp for more than ten thousand homeless women and children, and Vautrin must struggle, day after day, to intercede on behalf of the hapless victims. Even when order and civility are eventually restored, Vautrin remains deeply embattled, and she is haunted by the lives she could not save.

With extraordinarily evocative precision, Ha Jin re-creates the terror, the harrowing deprivations, and the menace of unexpected violence that defined life in Nanjing during the occupation. In Minnie Vautrin he has given us an indelible portrait of a woman whose convictions and bravery prove, in the end, to be no match for the maelstrom of history.
At once epic and intimate, Nanjing Requiem is historical fiction at its most resonant.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307379764
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 303 p. ; 25 cm.


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Aug 04, 2012

I got bored with Ha Jin's short stories in a modern setting, but I usually like historical novels.
Like most tales of misery this gets repetative, but still was a good read.

Nov 30, 2011

I did not enjoy this book as much as previous Ha Jin novels. Perhaps Ha Jin was too emotionally involved with the topic for his usual style to come out. I found his usual rich and poetic prose to be mostly lacking from this latest book. I enjoy his writing very much, but did not find this his best novel from an artistic point of view. But from a historical view, it was extremely well written and the plot kept you throughly engrossed in spite of the horrific events being related.


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