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A Gesture Life: A Novel de Chang-rae Lee
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A Gesture Life: A Novel (edició 2000)

de Chang-rae Lee (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,1842512,130 (3.71)38
The secret life of a Japanese-American pharmacist in a small town in New York. On the surface a model of propriety and serenity, he is torn by memories of his service in the Japanese army in World War II and the comfort woman he loved and could not save. By the author of Native Speaker.
Membre:ddahl
Títol:A Gesture Life: A Novel
Autors:Chang-rae Lee (Autor)
Informació:Riverhead Books (2000), Edition: 1st Riverhead Trade Pbk. Ed, 384 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Per llegir
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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» Mira també 38 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 25 (següent | mostra-les totes)
“Doc” Hata recently retired from his occupation as the owner of a medical supply store. He has never married and his adopted teenage daughter Sunny has left home. Reflecting back upon his life as a Japanese immigrant of Korean ethnicity living in the United States, he feels he has achieved a high status and is well respected in his community of Bedley Run. However, demons of his past, including a forbidden love, failure to marry, and an unsatisfactory relationship with his adopted daughter, often surface in thoughts of his life both in Japan and the United States.

In The Gesture Life, the author provides a thought-provoking examination of how one Oriental man conducts his life in order to be accepted and deemed “proper” by others of his community. Parts of the story seem a bit hard to follow because of movement back and forth in time, occasional significant scenes too sketchily described, and lack of important history (especially Sunny’s childhood). Nevertheless, the novel succeeds in its beautiful use of language and ability to evoke a wide range of emotions as it poignantly examines one man’s feelings. It is an attention-getting, fascinating story, especially about the comfort girls of the Imperial Red Army during World War II. The novel makes a major contribution to American literature about the Asian immigrant ( )
  SqueakyChu | Mar 26, 2021 |
A pretty fascinating story of loneliness and distance, which I related a lot to Stoicism and even Christianity, though the protagonist is a Korean/Japanese immigrant living in affluent upstate New York. ( )
  revatait | Feb 21, 2021 |
Chang-rae Lee is an amazing writer. I can’t remember the last time I read writing this good from a Contemporary writer, his prose are beautiful. The story itself is rather secondary to the writing, and honestly in a lesser writer’s hands I would have stopped reading it. The story line is basically two-fold, Franklin Hata’s experience as a Japanese military field medic during WWII where he falls in love with a Korean Comfort woman, and his life in an upper middle-class NY suburb after the war. The story lines are rather depressing and not particularly compelling. I can see why some people have said in reviews that it is boring, and disjointed, but he does such a wonderful job of getting in the skin of Franklin Hata that he pulls you into the character makes you feel Hata’s own quiet desperation.

Lee explores many themes in this book, identity (racial and social), what makes up a life?-is it one that you set up as a window display, or is it one that you actually live and experience without thought of the consequences, and of course it is about relationships; father-daughter, friendships, and romantic love.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading excellent writing, and it would make a good book club selection to explore and discuss the many themes and Hata’s character. This is a book that will no be everyone’s cup of tea though.
( )
  tshrope | Jan 13, 2020 |
A Gesture Life is the elegant story of Franklin "Doc" Hata, a Japanese man living in suburban New York. He is a proper man quietly living out his days after retiring from the medical supply business. He has a beautiful house and garden and what appears to be a calm life. Everyone respects him, but no one really knows him. As we delve deeper into his history we learn of many rippling disturbances. We discover an adoptive daughter, mysteriously estranged from Hata, with a child of her own. We learn of a relationship with a widow who he cared for deeply but to whom he couldn't quite commit. We don't even fully understand how close they became or why they drifted apart. Through Hata's memories we revisit World War II and his position as medic in Rangoon. We watch the unfolding and blossoming of a relationship with "K" a comfort woman; a relationship that ends in tragedy, as most wartime relationships do. In the end, it's Hata's relationship with daughter, Sunny, that is the most compelling. Theirs is a deep and complicated bond. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 25, 2014 |
A slow, introspective book. "Doc" Hata, post-retirement, evaluates his relationship with his adopted daughter and with a now-deceased lover. It is only slowly that his experiences in WWII are revealed, and it is up to us to ponder how they have affected these subsequent relationships.
In some sense, it confirms my opinion of Japanese as being very concerned with maintaining right relations with community, of meeting one's duty, of self abnegation before offending others. ( )
  juniperSun | Jul 7, 2014 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 25 (següent | mostra-les totes)
In ''Native Speaker'' Lee displayed an admirable, lyrical restraint in the face of an emotional subject: the difficult and sometimes perilous process of becoming an American, and staying one, with the losses and gains that such a battle for identity entails. ''A Gesture Life'' is even more of an achievement. It's a beautiful, solitary, remarkably tender book that reveals the shadows that fall constantly from the past, the ones that move darkly on the lawns of the here and now.
 
Lee lays out these events in precise, elliptical prose that echoes Hata's own fastidious detachment. He conjures up, with equal authority, the brutal, acrid world of Hata's wartime service and the bucolic, Cheeveresque world of Bedley Run, using small, telling details to suggest each realm's complicated rules of social engagement. At the same time he allows the reader to see why Hata remains an outsider in both places: always trying too hard to fit in, always trying too hard to say the right thing.
 

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..I've always been active and vigilant and perched right atop the ever-threatening domestic entropy and chaos.  Though now, or in the recent now, I've begun to understand how easily one can stand by and watch a pile of dross steadily grow, allow the fetter of one's quotidian life to become an unwieldy accumulation, which seems somehow much more daunting to clear away once it has settled, gained a repose. (p. 196)
I won't be seeking out my destiny or fate...Let me simply bear my flesh, and blood, and bones. (p. 356)
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The secret life of a Japanese-American pharmacist in a small town in New York. On the surface a model of propriety and serenity, he is torn by memories of his service in the Japanese army in World War II and the comfort woman he loved and could not save. By the author of Native Speaker.

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