Ha Jin

Last updated
Ha Jin
Ha jin 8693.jpg
(1956-02-21) February 21, 1956 (age 64)
Liaoning, China
Pen nameHa Jin
OccupationPoet, novelist, teacher
Nationality United States
Education Doctor of Philosophy
Alma mater Heilongjiang University
Shandong University
Brandeis University
GenrePoetry, short story, novel, essay
Notable works
Notable awards

Signature Ha Jin Signature.png

Xuefei Jin (simplified Chinese :金雪飞; traditional Chinese :金雪飛; pinyin :Jīn Xuěfēi; born February 21, 1956) is a Chinese-American poet and novelist using the pen name Ha Jin (哈金). Ha comes from his favorite city, Harbin. His poetry is associated with the Misty Poetry movement. [1]


Early life

Ha Jin was born in Liaoning, China. His father was a military officer; at thirteen, Jin joined the People's Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution. Jin began to educate himself in Chinese literature and high school curriculum at sixteen. He left the army when he was nineteen, [2] as he entered Heilongjiang University and earned a bachelor's degree in English studies. This was followed by a master's degree in Anglo-American literature at Shandong University.

Jin grew up in the chaos of early communist China. He was on a scholarship at Brandeis University when the 1989 Tiananmen incident occurred. The Chinese government's forcible put-down hastened his decision to emigrate to the United States, and was the cause of his choice to write in English "to preserve the integrity of his work." He eventually obtained a Ph.D.


Jin sets many of his stories and novels in China, in the fictional Muji City. He has won the National Book Award for Fiction [3] and the PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel, Waiting (1999). He has received three Pushcart Prizes for fiction and a Kenyon Review Prize. Many of his short stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories anthologies. His collection Under The Red Flag (1997) won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, while Ocean of Words (1996) has been awarded the PEN/Hemingway Award. The novel War Trash (2004), set during the Korean War, won a second PEN/Faulkner Award for Jin, thus ranking him with Philip Roth, John Edgar Wideman and E. L. Doctorow who are the only other authors to have won the prize more than once. War Trash was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Jin currently teaches at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. He formerly taught at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jin was a Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow for Fiction at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, in the fall of 2008. He was inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2014.

Awards and honors


See also

Related Research Articles

William Faulkner American writer

William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, poetry, essays, and a play. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life.

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction American award for books

The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, published during the preceding calendar year. As the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, it was one of the original Pulitzers; the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.

T. C. Boyle American novelist and short story writer

Thomas Coraghessan Boyle, also known as T. C. Boyle and T. Coraghessan Boyle, is an American novelist and short story writer. Since the mid-1970s, he has published sixteen novels and more than 100 short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award in 1988, for his third novel, World's End, which recounts 300 years in upstate New York.

Richard Ford American novelist and short story writer

Richard Ford is an American novelist and short story writer. His best-known works are the novel The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day, The Lay of the Land and Let Me Be Frank With You, and the short story collection Rock Springs, which contains several widely anthologized stories. His novel Wildlife was adapted into a 2018 film of the same name.

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1999.

Michael Cunningham American novelist and screenwriter

Michael Cunningham is an American novelist and screenwriter. He is best known for his 1998 novel The Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999. Cunningham is a senior lecturer of creative writing at Yale University.

Colson Whitehead Novelist

Colson Whitehead is an American novelist. He is the author of six novels, including his debut work, the 1999 novel The Intuitionist, and The Underground Railroad (2016), for which he won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has also published two books of non-fiction. In 2002, he received a MacArthur Fellowship.

Chang-Rae Lee novelist

Chang-rae Lee is a Korean-American novelist and a professor of creative writing at Stanford University. He was previously Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton and director of Princeton's Program in Creative Writing.

The PEN/Hemingway Award is awarded annually to a full-length novel or book of short stories by an American author who has not previously published a full-length book of fiction. The award is named after Ernest Hemingway and funded by the Hemingway family and the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/Society. It is administered by PEN America. Mary Hemingway, a member of PEN, founded the award in 1976 both to honor the memory of her husband and to recognize distinguished first books of fiction.

George Saunders American writer of short stories and other literature

George Saunders is an American writer of short stories, essays, novellas, children's books, and novels. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, McSweeney's, and GQ. He also contributed a weekly column, American Psyche, to the weekend magazine of The Guardian between 2006 and 2008.

Jin (Chinese surname) Surname list

Jin is the Hanyu pinyin transliteration of a number of Chinese surnames. The most common one, Jīn 金, literally means "gold" and is 29th in the list of "Hundred Family Surnames". As of 2006, it is ranked the 64th most common Chinese surname.

Peter Ho Davies is a contemporary British writer of Welsh and Chinese descent.

Lydia Davis American writer

Lydia Davis is an American writer noted for literary works of extreme brevity. Davis is also a short story writer, novelist, essayist, and translator from French and other languages, and has produced several new translations of French literary classics, including Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.

Duo Duo or Duoduo is the pen name of contemporary Chinese poet, Li Shizheng (栗世征), a prominent exponent of the Chinese Misty Poets (朦胧诗). Duo Duo was awarded the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

Joseph ONeill (writer, born 1964) Irish poet

Joseph O'Neill is an Irish novelist and non-fiction writer. O'Neill's novel Netherland was awarded the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

Atticus Lish is an American novelist. His debut, Preparation for the Next Life, caught its independent publisher, Tyrant, “off guard” by becoming a surprise success, winning a number of awards including the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Lish lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with his wife. He is the son of influential literary editor Gordon Lish.

<i>Waiting</i> (novel) 1999 novel by Ha Jin

Waiting is a 1999 novel by Chinese-American author Ha Jin which won the National Book Award that year. It is based on a true story that Jin heard from his wife when they were visiting her family at an army hospital in China. At the hospital was an army doctor who had waited eighteen years to get a divorce so he could marry his longtime friend, a nurse.

Joan Silber American novelist

Joan Silber is an American novelist and short story writer. She won the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction and the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her novel Improvement.

Peter Selgin American writer

Peter Selgin is an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, editor, and illustrator. Selgin is Associate Professor of English at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. He is also a former affiliate faculty member at Antioch University's Low-Residency MFA Creative Writing Program in Los Angeles, California.

Mitchell S. Jackson American writer

Mitchell S. Jackson is an American writer based in New York City. He is the author of the 2013 novel The Residue Years, as well as Oversoul (2012), an ebook collection of essays and short stories. Jackson is a Whiting Award recipient and a former winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. He has also been the recipient of fellowships from TED and the Lannan Foundation. Jackson is also a public speaker and documentarian. He serves on the faculties of New York University and Columbia University.


  1. A Brief Guide to Misty Poets Archived 2010-04-12 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Ha Jin" Archived 2010-01-31 at the Wayback Machine . Bookreporter.
  3. 1 2 "National Book Awards – 1999" Archived 2018-11-24 at the Wayback Machine . National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
    (With acceptance speech by Jin and essay by Ru Freeman from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  4. Julie Bosman (September 30, 2012). "Winners Named for Dayton Literary Peace Prize". The New York Times . Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  1. John Noell Moore, "The Landscape Of Divorce When Worlds Collide," The English Journal 92 (Nov. 2002), pp. 124–127.
  2. Ha Jin, Waiting (New York: Pantheon Books, 1999)
  3. Neil J Diamant, Revolutionizing the Family: Politics, Love and Divorce in Urban and Rural China, 1949-1968(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000), p. 59.
  4. Ha Jin, The bridegroom (New York: Pantheon Books, 2000)
  5. Yuejin Wang, Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews 13 (Dec. 1991)
  6. Ha Jin, "Exiled to English" (New York Times, May 30, 2009)