Ha Jin: Neilly Series Lecture
Acclaimed novelist and poet Ha Jin will discuss his work, including his latest novel, War Trash, winner of the 2005 Pen/Faulkner Award. His earlier work, Waiting, won a National Book Award and the 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
War Trash is based heavily on actual historical accounts and is written in homage to the little-known stories of the many Chinese POWs who were held captive by Americans during the Korean War. Set in 1951, War Trash is told in the form of a memoir. The protagonist is a young Chinese army volunteer, fighting unofficially in Korea when he is captured. His fluency in English thrusts him into the role of unofficial interpreter in the psychological warfare-- between the prisoners and teri captors and between rival groups of prisoners-- that defines the often-vicious world of the POW camp.
Ha Jin is known for his ethical quandaries and personal revelations. The New York Times Book Review stated, "Ha Jin produces work of extraordinary moral and aesthetic lucidity." Russell Banks, in his review, wrote that War Trash "is not a large novel, but it is a nearly perfect one."
Ha Jin came to the United States in 1986 as a doctoral student at Brandeis University. Upon completing his doctorate, he planned to return to China, but changed plans after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. He began learning English in his early 20s and writing fiction in his early 30s.Ha Jin is the author of two volumes of poetry, three volumes of short stories, and several novels. Ha Jin also teaches at Boston University.
Introduction by Greta Niu.
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