A rich, moving and titillating account of the poet’s life. The Li Po that emerges from this tale is a figure we know so well and yet hardly ... a deeply empathetic portrait of a literary genius whose vicissitudes in life—filled with ambitions, frailties, losses and pains—would pale a Shakespearean drama ... mesmerizing.
A typical biography, spanning the life and career of the eighth-century poet, but Ha Jin's masterful style and deep affection for his subject make the book a pleasure to read--especially for those unfamiliar with Li Bai or Chinese poetry in general ... liberally quotes Bai's work, sometimes reproducing complete poems in translation to show the depth of his imagery and style. A number of readers will pick up this book knowing its author but not Li Bai, and Ha Jin makes sure they see Bai's prodigious talent. Newcomers will be swept up in Bai's personal history while fans of his work will enjoy Ha Jin's own take on the man and his influence.
A kind of hagiography that is both scholarly and emotionally engaging ... much of what [Jin] presents as fact feels merely speculative and ultimately the mythology holds this portrait together ... Libraries building Chinese literature collections will love this book. Essential for academic libraries and recommended for large poetry holdings.