Jin, Ha 1956–
Jin, Ha 1956–
Born February 21, 1956, in Liaoning, China; naturalized U.S. citizen; son of Danlin (an officer) and Yuanfen (a worker) Jin; married Lisah Bian, July 6, 1982; children: Wen. Education: Heilongjiang University, B.A., 1981; Shangdong University, M.A., 1984; Brandeis University, Ph.D., 1992.
Office—Boston University College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, 236 Bay State Rd., Boston, MA 02215. Agent—Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, 1776 Broadway, Ste. 1405, New York, NY 10019. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer. Emory University, Atlanta, GA, assistant professor of creative writing, 1993-2002; Boston University, Boston, MA, professor of creative writing, 2002—. Military service: Chinese People's Army, 1987-95.
Three Pushcart Prizes for fiction; prize from Kenyon Review; Agni Best Fiction Prize; PEN Hemingway Award for first fiction, 1998, for Ocean of Words; Flannery O'Connor Award, 1998, and Georgia Author of the Year Award for Under the Red Flag; National Book Award, National Book Foundation, 1999, and PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, 2000, both for Waiting; Townsend Prize for Fiction for The Bridegroom; PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction and Pulitzer Prize nomination, Columbia University, both 2005, for War Trash; Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2006.
Between Silences: A Voice from China (poetry), University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1990.
Facing Shadows (poetry), Hanging Loose Press (Brooklyn, NY), 1996.
Ocean of Words: Army Stories, Zoland Books (Cambridge, MA), 1996.
Under the Red Flag (short stories), University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1997.
In the Pond (novel), Zoland Books (Cambridge, MA), 1998.
Waiting (novel), Pantheon (New York, NY), 1999.
Quiet Desperation (short stories), Pantheon (New York, NY), 2000.
The Bridegroom (short stories), Pantheon (New York, NY), 2000.
Wreckage (poetry), Hanging Loose (Brooklyn, NY), 2001.
The Crazed (novel), Pantheon (New York, NY), 2002.
War Trash (novel), Pantheon (New York, NY), 2004.
A Free Life, Pantheon Books (New York, NY), 2007.
The Writer as Migrant, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2008.
Also author of libretto for the opera The First Emperor, performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, NY, 2007.
Waiting was adapted by Brilliance as an audio book.
In 1986, thirty-year-old Xuefei Jin, who writes under the name Ha Jin, came to the United States on a student visa from his native China to begin working on a Ph.D. in English at Brandeis University. His dissertation was on high Modernist poets Pound, Eliot, Auden, and Yeats because, as he told Dave Weich in a Powell's City of Books piece, "Those four have poems which are related to Chinese texts and poems that reference the culture. My dissertation was aimed at a Chinese job market. I planned to return to China." Jin and his wife decided to stay in the United States after seeing what happened at Tiananmen Square on television. Before receiving his degree in 1992, Jin had already published his first book of poetry in English, Between Silences: A Voice from China. Another book of poetry, Facing Shadows, appeared a few years later. As Weich pointed out, it wasn't an easy beginning: "Taking odd jobs (a night watchman, a busboy) until eventually his publishing success convinced Emory University to hire him to teach and write, Jin was arguably one of the most prolific literary writers of the nineties." In the next three years Jin published two short story collections and two novels, all written in English, all set in the People's Republic of China.
Jin's second collection of short stories, Under the Red Flag, is set in a rural town, Dismount Fort, during the Cultural Revolution that swept across China in 1966. This was a time when fanatical beliefs gained sway and those who did not embrace them were often persecuted. In what Time contributor Paul Gray singled out as the best story in the book, "Winds and Clouds over a Funeral," a communist official is torn between conflicting loyalties. His mother's last request upon her deathbed was that she not be cremated. However, it is the official policy of the Communist Party that all dead bodies should be cremated in order to conserve arable land. In another story, the Communist Party has arrested a woman accused of being a whore and plans a public humiliation and punishment for her. A young boy, the narrator of the story, looks forward to the event. In another, a man castrates himself to gain admission to the Communist Party. Gray noted: "Ha Jin is not a preachy author. He offers his characters choices that are incompatible and potentially destructive and then dispassionately records what they do next." Frank Caso, writing in Booklist, found Under the Red Flag to be a "powerful" collection, but also remarked that "there is … an undisguised cynicism, in … many of the … tales, that the truth must first be shaped to a political purpose." A Publishers Weekly reviewer, though, stating of Jin that "sometimes his allegories are too simple," wrote that the stories are used by Jin "to explore larger themes about human relationships and the effect of government on individual lives."
Jin's first novel, In the Pond, is the tale of a talented artist, Shao Bin, who must spend his time working at a fertilizer plant to support his family. After being assigned inferior housing, Bin protests by drawing a series of cartoons that criticize his supervisors at work. After a series of conflicts with the supervisors, spurred on by more cartoons, Bin eventually receives a promotion to the propaganda office. A writer reviewing In the Pond for Publishers Weekly found that Jin "offers a wise and funny first novel that gathers meticulously observed images into a seething yet restrained tale of social injustice in modern China." The reviewer also noted the complexity of the book's characters, such as the supervisors, and concluded by stating that the novel goes beyond its setting of Communist China to "engagingly illustrat[e] a universal conundrum."
Waiting, which Jin told Weich was based on a true story, generated considerable critical attention. The book is a "deliciously comic novel [told] in an impeccably deadpan manner," observed Gray, again writing in Time. One Publishers Weekly reviewer deemed Waiting "quiet but absorbing … powerful," while another remarked that besides its "affecting love story," Waiting "presents a trenchant picture of Chinese life under communism." According to Shirley N. Quan of Library Journal: "This touching story about love, honor, duty, and family speaks feelingly to readers on matters of the heart." The plot of Waiting centers on three individuals: Lin, a medical student who later becomes a doctor; Shuyu, the woman his ailing parents force him to marry so they will have someone to care for them; and Manna Wu, a nurse with whom Lin falls in love. According to communist law, a couple must be separated for eighteen years before they can legally divorce. The novel covers twenty years, including the eighteen during which Lin and Manna maintain their relationship but decide to wait until they can marry before they will consummate it. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the book for Entertainment Weekly, Megan Harlan stated: "Jin overexplains the story's background. But the lengthy finale … resounds with elegant irony." Francine Prose, writing in the New York Times Book Review noted: "Character is fate, or at least some part of fate, and Ha Jin's achievement is to reveal the ways in which character and society conspire."
Of Jin's novel The Crazed, Commonweal contributor Valerie Sayers commented: "In an age when so many critics have declared the death of literary realism, Ha Jin's depiction of real absurdity and absurd reality is a good argument against realism's premature burial." Neil Freudenberger, writing in the New Yorker, wrote that "Ha Jin explores an intimate subject with a surgeon's combination of detachment and depth." Sayers added that The Crazed "is also a compelling read, more directly political than Waiting, more focused on an inevitable plot march that will end in Tiananmen Square." The narrator is a young man, Jian Wan, studying for his Ph.D. exams and waiting to marry the daughter of his professor, Dr. Yang. The professor, however, suffers a stroke, and while Jian and another student wait in the hospital for his wife to arrive home from a trip to Tibet, Yang raves and sings in hallucinations that take him wandering back to days of persecution during the Cultural Revolution, to sexual liaisons, and to his early ambitions. He also talks about spiritual matters. As Freudenberger noted, "Professor Yang slowly goes mad—conducting imaginary conversations, spilling his own secrets, and giving his student an education he's not sure he wants." Sayers considered "many of the professor's monologues and spoken dreams, which are designed to unveil his biography as well as to move the plot along … ridiculously contrived in dramatic terms, yet their language is so direct that they remain strangely compelling." Yang's words move Jian to abandon his studies and join the students marching on Tiananmen Square. "The novel's climax is utterly realistic and utterly involving—its movement out of the sickroom and into the streets of Beijing provides just the right change of perception and scale," Sayers concluded.
The Spectator reviewer Jonathan Mirsky, however, found the novel plodding. He experienced Yang's ranting and singing, and the slow unfolding of Jian's understanding through the confusing and hazy words of his professor, as frustrating: "None of this is clear and after a while one ceases to care. The sordid dreariness, petty politicking and general hopelessness of Chinese academic life are well shown, but without a story it palls." Patrick Ness, writing in the London Daily Telegraph, reported: "For these potentially incendiary materials, Ha Jin has adopted a curiously grey, meditative style. The pace is slow, and the prose tends toward the obvious (‘I felt confused and upset’), draining colour and drama from the story." Buffalo News contributor Mark Schechner suggested that Jin, in "the least subtle" of his books, may be using the "hoariest cliche of socialist writing, the general strike, and use it against the keepers of socialist myth. Only instead of the people triumphant, we have the carnage of Tiananmen and a baffled hero." But many critics, while they also had difficulty with linguistic and timing aspects of the work, held that the "hyperrealism" and attention to detail that Jin employed, together with the interest of the story and the movement to action at the end of the novel, combined to create another compelling work. Sarah A. Smith wrote in the Guardian: "At first glance Ha Jin appears to have lost some of his lightness of touch. There is a depressing, communism-by-numbers feel about the way he drops background detail into the plot," but, she continued, "Ha Jin's talent is narrative, however, and when he has dispensed with scene-setting The Crazed becomes a compelling book." She concluded: "If this novel fails to live up to the promise of its predecessor, it is perhaps because it falls prey to the problem that faces much diaspora literature—the need to explain the motherland, rather than just to write. But this shouldn't overshadow what Ha Jin has achieved in his tragi-comic portrayal of Yang and the naive Jian. This novelist has a fine sense of the human scale of history and an eye for the absurd."
War Trash is the story of a young Chinese prisoner of war in American custody during the Korean conflict. It is, commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer, a "brave, complex and politically timely work." The protagonist, Yu Yuan, becomes a de facto communist in 1949 out of disaffection with Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist party. As a volunteer soldier supporting North Korean military forces, he is captured by American soldiers and subjected to the subtle torture of having to choose sides between equally brutal nationalist or communist factions of the prison population. Yu chooses the communist side to maximize his chances for a future reunion with family members in China, but this occurrence is by no means ensured. The Korean conflict seems endless to Yu; further, the propaganda of the Cultural Revolution in China at the time seems likely to mark him as an outcast for having allowed himself to be captured by the enemy and subjected to corrupting western influences. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called War Trash "another brilliant installment in Ha Jin's history of modern China." The Publishers Weekly writer commented on Jin's "somewhat wooden dialogue," but also noted that "the images he records are all the more powerful for their simple honesty."
Irene Wanner, writing in the Seattle Times credited the success of Jin's work to its "skill, compassion and enlightening aspects." Gray felt Jin's success is in part due to the "accident of his birth." Having been born in another country, Gray explained, Jin was "protected from the homogenizing and potentially trivializing influences that afflict so many U.S.-born aspiring authors." However, Gray concluded that although "exotic subject matter" has helped Jin's career, his "narrative talent proves victorious."
Jin's first novel to be set in the United States is A Free Life. The story focuses on Chinese poet and intellectual Nan Wu and his wife Pingping, new immigrants who, as the novel begins, are awaiting the arrival of their young son, who had remained in China with his grandparents and has finally been allowed to join Nan and Pingping. Nan works hard to support the family, eventually moving to Atlanta to run a restaurant. In time, the family achieves the trappings of success: a suburban home, a comfortable lifestyle. What disconcerts Nan is how easy it all was. "The struggle had ended so soon that he felt as though the whole notion of the American dream was shoddy, a hoax," writes Jin. "In just a few years he'd gone through the journey that often took most immigrants a whole lifetime…. It seemed that he had forgotten his goal and gotten lost in making money. Why hadn't he devoted himself to writing poetry?" In the end he does return to his artistic muse; the book closes with a section that Jin identifies as the poems that Nan has labored to produce during his years in America.
A major theme in the book is language. Nan struggles with the question of whether to continue to write in Chinese, or to adopt English. At first, he and Pingping talk to each other in Chinese; Jin renders their English speech as ungrammatical and filled with inappropriate word choices. As the story progresses, however, the couple's fluency noticeably improves—a signal of their growing assimilation. Despite this ease, though, Nan never feels entirely comfortable with English. "The poems took a long time," Jin told a writer for Newsweek, explaining his decision to include in the book poems written in Nan's voice. "It was a huge risk. But I realized I had to so Nan wouldn't appear as a total crackpot."
The book was inspired by a collection of poems written by an actual Chinese restaurant owner in suburban Boston, Jin told the Newsweek writer. But though Jin draws on some details from his own experience as an immigrant, the novel, he insisted, is not autobiographical.
Many readers responded to A Free Life with great enthusiasm. Vikram Johri, writing in St. Petersburg Times, proclaimed the book a work of both Chekovian ordinariness and "deeply subversive" vision, concluding that the novel is nothing less than "a love song to the pull of art." An Atlantic Monthly contributor described the book as "engrossing," and Booklist reviewer Donna Seaman wrote that it "affirms humankind's essential mission, to honor life." "Jin has taken risks throughout his career," observed Terry Hong in the Christian Science Monitor, "but here he proves yet again that failure is not a part of his vocabulary."
But praise for A Free Life was far from unanimous. Scott Leibs, writing in the San Diego Union-Tribune, found Nan an unsympathetic character and the story of his quest for artistic fulfillment "leaden." San Francisco Chronicle contributor Charles May expressed similar disappointment, writing that "there is just no dynamic to drive this ‘one-damn-thing-after-another’ story to a meaningful conclusion." And Walter Kirn, writing in the New York Times Book Review, criticized the novel for stereotyped characters, obvious plot, and lack of thematic complexity. Nan's story, he observed, "may be true to the actual experiences of countless naive, non-native English speakers, but it feels here more like a monastic meditation or a ritual breathing exercise than a fictional documentary." Though some critics wondered whether Jin's talents were equal to the task of writing a family epic, others found much to admire in A Free Life, which Boston Phoenix contributor John Freeman hailed as a "simple, heartbreaking story of a family's quest for solid ground—a story that will make you marvel at how much we are expected to infer from that familiar phrase ‘the American Dream.’"
Jin once told CA: "Because I failed to do something else, writing in English became my means of survival, of spending or wasting my life, of retrieving losses, mine and those of others. Because my life has been a constant struggle, I feel close in my heart to the great Russian masters, including Chekhov, Gogol, and Babel. As for poetry, some ancient Chinese influences are Tu Fu, Li Po, and Po Chu-I.
"Since I teach full time, my writing process has been adapted to my teaching. When I have a large piece of time, I write drafts of stories, or a draft of a novel, which I revise and edit when I teach. Each draft is revised thirty times before it is finished.
"If I am inspired, it is from within. Very often I feel that the stories have been inside me for a long time, and that I am no more than an instrument for their manifestation. As for the subject matter, I guess we are compelled to write about what has hurt us most."
Asked by Weich whether he would eventually write about the immigrant experience, Jin answered, "I haven't returned to China since I've been here. China is distant. I don't know what contemporary Chinese life is like now. I follow the news, but I don't have the mature sensation—I can't hear the noise, I can't smell the place. I'm not attached to it anymore. What's meaningful to me is the immigrant experience, the American life." The most important work of immigrant literature for him was Nabokov's Pnin, which, as he said, "deals with the question of language, and I think that's at the core of the immigrant experience: how to learn the language—or give up learning the language!—but without the absolute mastery of the language, which is impossible for an immigrant. Your life is always affected by the insufficiency."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Jin, Ha, A Free Life, Pantheon Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Atlantic Monthly, December 1, 2007, review of A Free Life, p. 114.
Bloomsbury Review, November, 2000, review of Waiting, p. 28.
Book, November-December, 2002, James Schiff, review of The Crazed, p. 82.
Booklist, November 1, 1997, Frank Caso, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 454; March 15, 2000, review of Waiting, p. 1337; September 15, 2000, Nancy Pearl, review of The Bridegroom, p. 216; January 1, 2003, review of The Crazed, p. 792; August 1, 2004, Donna Seaman, review of War Trash; July 1, 2007, Donna Seaman, review of A Free Life, p. 9.
BookPage, October, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. 8.
Bookwatch, June, 1996, review of Facing Shadows, p. 5.
Boston Book Review, December, 1999, review of Waiting, p. 41.
Boston, November, 2002, Greg Lalas, "Cracked China," p. 174.
Boston Phoenix, October 15, 2007, John Freeman, review of A Free Life.
Buffalo News, December 8, 2002, Mark Schechner, review of The Crazed, p. F6.
Carolina Quarterly, winter, 1992, review of Between Silences: A Voice from China, p. 180; summer, 2001, review of Waiting and The Bridegroom, p. 84.
China Review International, spring, 1997, review of Ocean of Words: Army Stories, p. 175.
Choice, October, 1996, review of Facing Shadows, p. 278; November, 1996, review of Ocean of Words, p. 451; April, 1998, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 1365.
Christian Century, December 14, 2004, review of War Trash, p. 22.
Christian Science Monitor, November 2, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 21; December 11, 2007, Terry Hong, "The High Cost of Living A Free Life," p. 14.
Commonweal, February 14, 2003, Valerie Sayers, review of The Crazed, p. 17.
Daily Telegraph (London, England), September 27, 2003, Patrick Ness, review of The Crazed, p. 12.
Detroit Free Press, November 2, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. 4E.
Entertainment Weekly, October 29, 1999, Megan Harlan, review of Waiting, p. 106; December 24, 1999, review of Waiting, p. 144; December 3, 1999, Lori Tharps and Clarissa Cruz, "Between the Lines," p. 93; October 6, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 80; November 17 2000, review of Waiting, p. 116; October 8, 2004, Melissa Rose Bernardo, review of War Trash, p. 120; November 2, 2007, Jennifer Reese, review of A Free Life, p. 66.
Far East Economic Review, October 14, 2004, review of War Trash.
Georgia Review, fall, 1996, Lionel Basney, review of Ocean of Words, p. 601; summer, 1998, Erin McGraw, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 375.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada), December 30, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. D11; October 26, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. D19; November 23, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. D5; October 23, 2004, Annabel Lyon, review of War Trash, p. D14; January 5, 2008, Randy Boyagoda, review of A Free Life, p. 10.
Guardian (London, England), November 30, 2002, Sarah A. Smith, review of The Crazed, p. 27.
Guernica, January, 2007, Chris GoGwilt, interview with Jim.
Hudson Review, spring, 2001, Alan Davis, review of The Bridegroom, p. 143.
Hungry Mind Review, fall, 1992, review of Between Silences, p. 57.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 1996, review of Ocean of Words, p. 333; October 1, 1997, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 1473; August 1, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 1060; August 15, 2004, review of War Trash, p. 763; August 15, 2007, review of A Free Life.
Kliatt, March, 2004, Nola Theiss, review of The Crazed, p. 20; September, 2005, Nola Theiss, review of War Trash, p. 18.
Law Society Journal, April, 2001, John Gava, review of Waiting, p. 94.
Library Journal, October 15, 1999, Shirley N. Quan, review of Waiting, p. 105; September 1, 2000, Shirley N. Quan, review of The Bridegroom, p. 254; June 1, 2001, Frank Allen, review of Wreckage, p. 170; August, 2004, Shirley N. Quan, review of War Trash, p. 67.
London Review of Books, June 1, 2000, review of Waiting, p. 40.
Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2000, Michael Harris, review of The Bridegroom, p. E3; December 8, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. R6.
Mother Jones, November-December, 2004, Daniel Duane, review of War Trash, p. 94.
New Straits Times, January 22, 2001, "Uneven Writing."
Newsweek, February 4, 2008, "A Life in Books: Ha Jin," p. 9.
New Yorker, December 4, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 101; November 4, 2002, Neil Freudenberger, review of The Crazed.
New York Times, October 21, 2002, Janet Maslin, review of The Crazed, p. B7.
New York Times Book Review, June 2, 1996, Andy Solomon, "Ocean of Words: Army Stories," p. 21; January 11, 1998, Peter Bricklebank, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 14; September 27, 1998, review of Ocean of Words, p. 32; October 24, 1999, Francine Prose, review of Waiting, p. 9; December 5, 1999, review of Waiting, p. 80; May 13, 2000, "In the Pond," p. 42; December 3, 2000, review of Waiting, p. 109; October 27, 2002, Ruth Franklin, review of The Crazed, p. 7; December 8, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. 61; October 10, 2004, Russell Banks, review of War Trash, p. 1; November 25, 2007, Walter Kirn, review of A Free Life.
Observer (London, England), review of The Crazed, p. 18.
Partisan Review, winter, 1994, Roger Gilbert, review of Between Silences, p. 180.
People Weekly, October 23, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 60.
Ploughshares, spring, 1991, Gail Mazur, review of Between Silences, p. 230.
Progressive, March, 2000, John McNally, review of Waiting, p. 44.
Publishers Weekly, August 24, 1991, review of Between Silences, p. 60; February 26, 1996, review of Ocean of Words, p. 98; October 3, 1997, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 58; October 12, 1998, review of In the Pond, p. 58; August 23, 1999, review of Waiting, p. 42; November 1, 1999, review of Waiting, p. 46; September 4, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 81; June 4, 2001, review of Wreckage, p. 78; September 30, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. 47; August 2, 2004, review of War Trash, p. 49; July 23, 2007, review of A Free Life, p. 40.
Reference & User Services Quarterly, spring, 2000, review of Waiting, p. 240.
Review of Contemporary Fiction, spring, 2008, Daniel Garrett, review of A Free Life, p. 171.
Rocky Mountain News, November 9, 2007, Jenny Shank, review of A Free Life.
St. Petersburg Times, October 28, 2007, Vikram Johri, review of A Free Life.
San Diego Union-Tribune, October 28, 2007, Scott Leibs, review of A Free Life.
San Francisco Chronicle, November 14, 2007, Charles May, review of A Free Life.
Seattle Times, October 31, 1999, Irene Wanner, review of Waiting; October 15, 2000, Irene Wanner review of The Bridegroom, p. M14.
Shenandoah, fall, 1998, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 123.
Small Press Book Review, November, 1996, review of Facing Shadows, p. 12.
Spectator, September 21, 2002, Jonathan Mirsky, review of The Crazed, p. 45.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), John Freeman, review of War Trash, p. 17.
Time, December 1, 1997, Paul Gray, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 94; November 8, 1999, Paul Gray, "Divorce, Chinese-Style," p. 144; December 20, 1999, review of Waiting, p. 104.
Time International, Bryan Walsh, review of The Crazed, p. 73.
Times Literary Supplement, May 12, 2000, Bill Broun, review of Waiting, p. 23; May 11, 2001, Justin Hill, review of The Bridegroom, p. 23.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), October 8, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 5; December 3, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 3; October 20, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. 2; November 10, 2007, Art Winslow, review of A Free Life, p. 3.
USA Today, December 6, 2007, Olivia Barker, review of A Free Life, p. 4.
Virginia Quarterly, spring, 2000, review of Waiting, p. 64.
Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2000, Gordon Fairclough, review of The Bridegroom, p. W12.
Washington Post Book World, January 9, 2000, review of Waiting, p. 3; September 10, 2000, review of The Bridegroom, p. 4; October 6, 2000, Carolyn See, "Marriage of Inconvenience," p. C3; December 3, 2000, reviews of The Bridegoom and Waiting, p. 14; January 7, 2001, review of Waiting, p. 10; October 27, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. 3; December 1, 2002, review of The Crazed, p. 4; October 3, 2004, Charles McCarry, review of War Trash, p. 8.
World and I, May, 2000, review of Waiting, p. 247.
World Literature Today, winter, 1992, K.C. Leung, review of Between Silences, p. 203; autumn, 1997, Timothy C. Wong, review of Ocean of Words, p. 862; autumn, 1997, K.C. Leung, review of Facing Shadows, p. 861, Timothy C. Wong, review of Ocean of Words, p. 862; spring, 1998, Fatima Wu, review of Under the Red Flag, p. 454; spring, 1999, Jeffrey C. Kinkley, review of In the Pond, p. 389; summer, 2000, Jeffrey C. Kinkley, review of Waiting, p. 579.
Writer, May 1, 2007, Mary Lynn, "Market Q&A," p. 56.
AsianWeek,http://www.asianweek.com/ (December 16, 1999), interview with Ha Jin.
AsiaSource,http://www.asiasource.org/ (November 17, 2000), interview with Ha Jin; (July 23, 2008), interview with Jin.
Austin Chronicle Online,http://www.austinchronicle.com/ (November 10, 2000), article on Ha Jin.
Boldtype,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (December, 1999), "Ha Jin."
Book, http://www.bookmagazine.com/ (January, 2000), "Ha Jin of America,"
BookReporter,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (October 13, 2000), interview with Ha Jin; (July 23, 2008), Jamie Layton, review of A Free Life.
Boston Review Online,http://www.bostonreview.net/ (August, 1988), "Ha Jin."
DesiJournal,http://www.desijournal.com/ (October 26, 2002), review of The Crazed.
Emory Magazine Online,http://www.emory.edu/ (spring, 1998), "Ha Jin."
MostlyFiction,http://mostlyfiction.com/ (October 12, 2002), review of The Crazed; (July 23, 2008), Poornima Apte, review of A Free Life.
Newsweek Online,http://www.newsweek.com/ (July 23, 2008), "The Americanization of Ha Jin."
Powell's City of Books,http://www.powells.com/ (February 2, 2000), Dave Weich, interview with Ha Jin.
Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.nwsource.com/ (July 23, 2008), Richard Wallace, review of A Free Life.
World and I,http://www.worldandi.com/ (May, 2000), review of Waiting.