Finally finished Waiting, by Ha Jin.
The title is apt. It’s basically 300+ pages of a man and woman chastely waiting for the man to extricate himself from a loveless marriage so that they can marry. More thrilling plots have been devised, but I’d recommend it for readers who revel in detailed observations and sensory language. I suspect it won the National Book Award largely for just those qualities — details about daily life in 1960s - ’80s China must have seemed especially novel (as it were) in 1999, when the book was published.