Foreword by Ha Jin
Internationally lauded novelist and poet Ha Jin provided the Foreword for the LIBERARTE poetry anthology, Liberation: New Works on Freedom from Internationally Renowned Poets.
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, 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.
Many of Ha Jin's stories and novels are set in China, in the fictional Muji City. He has won the National Book Award for Fiction 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. He was inducted to American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2014.