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Novelist Ha Jin Will Present McGaw Lectures at Davidson

August 31, 2001
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

Ha Jin
Ha Jin

Award-winning poet and novelist Ha Jin will visit Davidson College on September 11 and 12 to present the college's McGaw Lecture Series.

He will read from his work in a presentation entitled "My Choice of Writing in English" on Tuesday, September 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Love Auditorium of Chambers Building. He will speak on "The Writer as Human Being" on Wednesday, September 12, at 8 p.m. in the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room of the Alvarez College Union. Both appearances are free and open to the public.

Jin grew up in a rural town in Liaoning Province of China. He joined the People's Liberation Army at the age of fourteen, and served for six years during the Cultural Revolution. He began to learn English during three years of work as a telegrapher, and then enrolled in Heilongjiang University in 1977. Jin received his B.A. in English in 1981, and his M.A. in American Literature two years later.

He came to the United States in 1985 to continue his graduate work, and completed his Ph.D. in English in 1993 at Brandeis University. He permanently settled in the United States as an exile following China's Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Unlike other Chinese authors in exile, Jin writes exclusively in English. He has published three volumes of poetry, three books of short fiction, and two novels. Waiting, the winner of the 1999 National Book Award, tells the story of Lin Kong, a doctor in the Chinese army who falls in love with a nurse and must wait eighteen years to end his arranged marriage and marry the woman he loves. The National Book Award award citation praised the work for its profound understanding of "the conflict between the individual and society, between the timeless universality of the human heart and constantly shifting politics of the moment."

Jin is also a recipient of The Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the PEN/Hemingway Award. His short stories have been included in various anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize anthologies, The Norton Introduction to Fiction, and The Norton Introduction to Literature. He currently teaches creative writing and contemporary poetry at Emory University.

For more information on Jin's visit to Davidson, call 704-894-2026.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson is currently engaged in "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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