Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Map Of Betrayal by Ha Jin

Looking for closure, American Lilian Shang travels to China to find the family her father Gary left behind as he rose to prominence, becoming a high-level mole embedded in the CIA -- a valuable officer in the Chinese espionage apparatus. Narrating a story that alternates between Lillian’s path to discovery and Gary Shang’s complicated map of betrayal, Ha Jin’s melancholic novel is a moving meditation on the fluid definition of allegiance and home. Seemingly based on the life of real-life Chinese spy, Larry Chin, Jin’s prose sometimes cuts too close to the bone. Yet its lessons are universal and heartbreaking.

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