Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai

Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai


Ha Jin


Document Type



From the National Book Award-winning author of Waiting: a narratively driven, deeply human biography of the 8th century poet, Li Bai...also known as Li of the most beloved poets ever to emerge from China. With the instincts of a master novelist, Ha Jin draws on a wide range of historical and literary sources to weave the life story of Li Bai (701-762), whose poems...shaped by Daoist thought and characterized by their passion, romance, and lust for life...rang throughout the Tang Dynasty and continue to be celebrated today. Jin follows Li Bai from his birth on China's western frontier through his travels as a young man seeking a place among the empire's civil servants, his wanderings allowing him to hone his poetic craft, share his verses, and win him friends and admirers along the way. In his later years, he becomes swept up in a military rebellion that alters the course of China, and his death is surrounded by speculation and legend that continues to be spun to this day. The Banished Immortal is an extraordinary portrait of a poet who both transcended his time and was shaped by it, and whose ability to live, love, and mourn without reservation produced some of the most enduring verses in the world

Publication Date



Pantheon Books


New York




Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | History | Nonfiction

Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai

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