Ha Jin: The Writer as Migrant
King-Kok Cheung

[April 1, 2011]


Ha Jin has published over ten books of poetry and fiction and won numerous rewards including PEN/Hemingway Award, PEN/Faulkner Award, Flannery O’Conner Award, and the American Book Award. The Writer as Migrant is his first work of nonfiction.  In this collection of essays he reflects on the handicaps and advantages of a migrant writer, the difficult choice of writing in an adopted language, the elusive concept of homeland, and the responsibility of a writer in today’s globalizing world.

In my lecture I will analyze the book both as a literary critique of writers (e.g. Joseph Conrad, Lin Yutang, Vladimir Nabokov, V.S. Naipaul) who write in a language that is not their native tongues and as an autobiographical exploration of the author, who traces his own evolution and articulates his own aspirations as a displaced writer.




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