“You’re always afraid that people will call you a bad man. You strive to have a good heart. But what is a heart? Just a chunk of flesh that a dog can eat. Your problem originates in your own character, and you must first change yourself” -Gen Yang to Lin Kong (Waiting, Ha Jin).
Author: Ha Jin
Publisher: Vintage Books, USA
Ha Jin came up with this story, Waiting, when he read in a newspaper about a woman who thinks her husband is loveless: “She wished her husband could have an affair with another woman…. At least that would prove he was capable of love” Atlanta Journal, 15 Nov 1999, E1].
Waiting is about a fine young man and a dedicated doctor in a Chinese Army named Lin Kong who is torn between two women, Shuyu and Manna Wu. Lin Kong wants to divorce his wife, Shuyu. Every year, every summer, he goes to Goose Village (where his home is) to visit his family, Shuyu and his daughter Hua and to pursue the divorce. And every year, he fails. He fails because Shuyu does not want to. Why he wants to divorce his wife? He said, there is no love between them and he is always away with his family. But the truth is, he has a mistress. He is in-love with a nurse named Manna Wu. They wanted to be together but rules within the medical/hospital building forbids them to be together unless they are married. They need to wait for eighteen years for Lin to divorce without Shuyu’s consent.
After eighteen years, at last, the divorce was approved. They (Lin and Manna) got married at age of late 40’s. Manna Wu bore twins at her 44th year and had difficulty in delivering it. She was also diagnosed to have heart problems and this caused Lin to break down and cry. It’s like everything they’ve been waiting for will be coming to its end and he will end up alone. Will he? Who will he choose? The ending is hanging. I didn’t know if Manna lived long or Lin chose to marry Shuyu again.
Bookmark: It’s okey. Just okey.