In modern China, two people wait over seventeen years for each other to have a change of heart that would profoundly affect their lives.
From publisher's description of Waiting: A Novel by Ha Jin:
"For more than seventeen years, this devoted and ambitious doctor has been in love with an educated... modern woman, Manna Wu. But back in the traditional world of his home village lives the wife his family chose for him when he was young - a humble and touchingly loyal woman, whom he visits in order to ask, again and again, for a divorce....
... Ha Jin vividly conjures the texture of daily life in a place where the demands of human longing must contend with the weight of centuries of custom. "
My comments: Lin's anguish in wanting a divorce so he can marry the woman of his choice is balanced by the long-suffering patience of the wife he left behind, Shuyu. A very worthwhile novel about a clash of the new and the old in a new China that changed only in some aspects.
The book was first printed in 1999 by writer Ha Jin and was a National Book Award finalist. Ha Jin decided after the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 to remain in the U.S. I pulled this book from my personal library to review for Jen's China Challenge over at Biblio File.
An award winning writer, Ha Jin is now a professor of English at Boston University. His other well known book is A Free Life.