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Posts tagged ‘Ha Jin’


“A Map of Betrayal”

I’ve been left alone to do my own work, to live my own life.                                                                        ~Ha Jin

Contemporary Chinese literature is a genre that doesn’t occupy a lot of shelf space in bookstores or on Amazon (only 104 books show up on a recent search) which probably has more to do with repression and censorship than with lack of interest. With nearly 20% of the world’s population (1.5 billion people) in China, there should be an abundance of talented writers whose works are translated and available to the public. Instead, we have but a few writers who’ve escaped from China and been given the freedom to pursue their craft and write without fear of censorship or punishment. Read more »


“A Good Fall”

Nearly 10 years ago, I read the book Waiting by Ha Jin which won the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999. Based on a true story that took place in China, Waiting is the tragic account of a man who enters an arranged marriage out of a sense of duty, not love. He later falls in love with another woman but is restricted from divorcing his wife without spousal consent so he is left to wait for his true love. Ten years after finishing the book and I can still recall feeling the seemingly endless wait for something desired that the author, Ha Jin so strongly conveys in his award-winning novel. In 2009, Ha Jin published A Good Fall – a collection of 12 short stories that center around a different aspect of the Chinese culture – the Chinese immigrant experience in the United States. Read more »