Ha jin

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There is a chair and a stool. Jin was born in in Liaoning Province in northeast China, but he moved around as a young boy whenever his father, an officer in the Red Army, was posted to a new province. He writes about people at the bottom of society with a lot of sympathy and precision. What do you give up by writing in English rather than Chinese? I meant to stress the psychological damage to the man's soul. You ranked English last—a distant fifth after philosophy, classics, world history, and library science—on your list of preferred college majors when you took the Chinese university entrance exams. Smith in the Guardian. I had served in the People's Army. It seems an act of kismet that Jin was assigned to the English department at Heilongjiang University in Harbin.

I was enraged. He left the army when he was nineteen, [2] as he entered Heilongjiang University and earned a bachelor's degree in English studies.

Ha jin

He later worked as a railway telegraph operator and began to learn English by listening to the radio. Jin began to educate himself in Chinese literature and high school curriculum at sixteen. So far I can say that Chinese readers do find my work truthful and meaningful to them as well. I combined two cities, Jiamusi and Yanji, into the fictional Muji, because Jiamusi had no army hospital but the novel needed an army hospital. What is your approach to teaching fiction? You enlisted during the Cultural Revolution at the age of thirteen and spent several years at the Soviet border as an artilleryman and a telegrapher. A major principle in my work is translatability, which means that my writings must be truthful when translated into Chinese. Jin won the latter award again for War Trash , becoming the third writer after Philip Roth and John Edgar Wideman to twice receive that honour. He is almost ebullient as he gives a tour of his suburban house in Foxboro, Massachusetts, explaining that his wife urged him to buy the place because it borders a state forest preserve. This was followed by a master's degree in Anglo-American literature at Shandong University. It seems an act of kismet that Jin was assigned to the English department at Heilongjiang University in Harbin. Some clothing. I cannot think of anyone. Last year I published a book of poems directly written in Chinese in Taiwan.

Some of your fiction has been translated into Chinese and is available in Taiwan. A few books.

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I saw some officer friends read those books. As he polished his dissertation inhe watched the Tiananmen Square democracy protests unfold on live television.

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I have been in touch with Yu Hua, Yan Lianke, and several others. Jin grew up in the chaos of early communist China. Fiction has to create its own order, which comes from the writer.

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An Interview with Ha Jin