'A Song Everlasting' earns its place as August 2022's Book of the Month
Lake Effect and Milwaukee Public Library partner up each month to bring you new reading recommendations through our Book of the Month series. This month, Amy Waldman, an adult reference librarian at the Good Hope Library, shares a new book from their “Coming to America” book club.
Waldman recommends the novel A Song Everlasting by Chinese American novelist and poet Ha Jin. The book follows the story of Yao Tian, a successful Chinese tenor, and star of a world-touring choir. He finds himself taking a high-paying job in New York City to help pay for his daughter’s college education. However, after taking the job, he realizes he was placed in the crosshairs of the Chinese government. He must decide to return to China as a dissident or figure out how to make it in New York.
“[The book] showed, in a way that I haven’t seen in any of the other books I’ve read, the impact of the state on an individual life and the way the personal becomes political. Even if you don’t intend it to,” says Waldman.
A Song Everlasting was featured in the library’s “Coming to America” book club that started during the pandemic. The club started with four books from the Yiddish Book Center in February 2021 and continues to meet virtually every third Wednesday of the month from 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m.
Every month in partnership with the Milwaukee Public Library, Lake Effect highlights a librarian who shares their book recommendation.