One story is about 2 children who desperately want to change their Chinese names to more Americanized named and are oblivious to the emotional pain their grandparents feel because the children want to do this.
Another story is about a composer's devotion to his girlfriend's parrot and the sorrow he feels when the parrot accidentally dies.
In yet another story, a professor tries to defect from China with the reluctant help of a former student.
In the title story, Ganchin a teacher at the temple is fired and kicked out of his lodgings. Ganchin, having not been paid for his teaching over the last 2 years, struggles to pay his way and ends up temporarily living with a friend who can't afford to support Ganchin.
All of Jin's stories are tight and have an immediacy about them that makes you want to quickly read through the stories to find out what happens.
Rating: 7 / 10
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Edition: 1st Edition