Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)
Check Out
The Bestselling Books of All Time
See the List
The Banished Immortal by Ha Jin
Paperback $17.00
Dec 03, 2019 | ISBN 9780525562436

Also available from:

See All Formats (3) +
  • Dec 03, 2019 | ISBN 9780525562436

    Also available from:

  • Jan 15, 2019 | ISBN 9781524747411

    Also available from:

  • Jan 15, 2019 | ISBN 9781524747428

    Available from:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from The Banished Immortal

Product Details


“A deeply empathetic portrait of a literary genius whose vicissitudes in life . . . would pale a Shakespearean drama.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Ha Jin narrates the poet’s unusual life with erudition. . . . Writing about Li Bai—his life, his work, and his country—Jin finally returns home.” The New Yorker 

“A fluently told story, mysterious yet familiar, tragic yet sometimes comical. Ha Jin is a master storyteller.” Robert Pinsky

“Ha Jin tells Li’s story with insight and empathy.” —The New Yorker (briefly noted)

“An affectionate and thoughtful portrait of a complicated man and a master poet. . . . American readers’ Western bias has left the Chinese poet Li Bai less well-known here than in his native land, where he is considered a foundational writer. [The Banished Immortal] is a worthy corrective and an engaging introduction to the poet’s life and work.” —BookPage

“Ha Jin’s masterful style and deep affection for his subject make the book a pleasure to read. . . 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.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“A taut introduction to the life and poetry of the influential eighth-century Daoist poet . . . Ha Jin’s polished biography will give a wider audience access to the politics and beauty of a major Chinese poet.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“Award-winning novelist and poet Jin offers a glimpse into the life of one of China’s most celebrated poets . . . Scholarly and emotionally engaging . . . Essential.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“[Bai’s] life as distinguished poet and fiction writer Ha Jin so limpidly relays it was peripatetic. . . . Yet he was an unstaunchable fount of poems of friendship, drinking, dancing, nostalgia, and regret. . . . Bai still stands, with his friend Du Fu, at the pinnacle of Chinese poetry, and his influence is extensive the world over.” —Booklist

Table Of Contents

Prelude vii

1. Origins 3
2. Away from Home 22
3. Back in His Hometown 39
4. Leaving Sichuan 47
5. Dissipation 57
6. Marriage 71
7. Married Life 81
8. In the Capital 91
9. Away from the Capital 109
10. In the North 118
11. In the South 127
12. Moving to the Lu Region 141
13. Women 151
14. In the Capital Again 164
15. Political Involvement 179
16. The Meeting of Two Stars 188
17. Life in Transition 195
18. On the Road Again 206
19. New Marriage 219
20. On the Northeastern Frontier 226
21. Moving to the South 236
22. An Unexpected Guest 250
23. Escaping from the Rebels 257
24. Imprisonment 267
25. Disillusion and the End 276
26. Afterword 289

Selected Bibliography 299
Acknowledgments 301

Back to Top