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Ha Jin

Ha Jin was born in China in 1956. Xuefei Jin (Ha Jin is his pen name) was a teenager when China entered the Cultural Revolution. He became a member of the People’s Liberation Army at the age of fourteen. His novel Waiting, which won him the National Book Award in 1999 and the PEN/Faulkner in 2000, was based on his experiences during his five-year service in the Red Army. He was awarded the PEN/Faulkner again in 2005 for War Trash. His newest books include A Free Life (2007), The Writer as Migrant (2008), A Good Fall (2009), Nanjing Requiem (2011), and The Boat Rocker (2016). Ha Jin earned his master’s degree at Shandong University in China, and in 1986 came to the United States to begin his doctoral work at Brandeis. He was accepted into Boston University’s Creative Writing Program in 1991 and completed his studies in 1994. Though a native of China, he has done his writing in English. In addition to the National Book Award, Ha Jin received the Pen/Hemingway award for his first collection of short stories, Ocean of Words (1996), and the Flannery O’Connor Prize for his second, Under the Red Flag (1997). In 2005 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before returning to Boston University as a full professor in 2002, Jin taught poetry, fiction, and English literature at Emory University.