Agent: Lane Zachary
Ha Jin left his native China in 1985 to attend Brandeis University. He is the author of the internationally bestselling novel Waiting, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Award, and War Trash, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize; the story collections The Bridegroom, which won the Asian American Literary Award; Under the Red Flag, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction; and Ocean of Words, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award; the novels The Crazed and In the Pond; and three books of poetry. He lives in the Boston area and is a professor of English at Boston University.
What others are saying
"Ha Jin has captured the painful, often humdrum essence of the hidden agent.... In chapters alternating with Gary's chronological story, Ha Jin follows the journey of Gary's half-American daughter, Lilian, as she searches for the truth about her father by reading his diaries and by traveling to modern-day China. We see America through the eyes of a Chinese émigré, torn between an old loyalty and growing affection for the adopted land he is betraying. Simultaneously, we see China through the eyes of his daughter, discovering whatever she can about the family her father left behind.... [Ha Jin] is a voice at once outside and inside the culture."
— Ben Macintyre, front cover, The New York Times Book Review
By Ha Jin | Pantheon, 2000
Winner: National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner Award; Finalist: Pulitzer Prize
The demands of human longing contend with the weight of centuries of custom in acclaimed author Ha Jin's Waiting, a novel of unexpected richness and universal resonance. Every summer Lin Kong, a doctor in the Chinese Army, returns to his village to end his loveless marriage with the humble and touchingly loyal Shuyu. But each time Lin must return to the city to tell Manna Wu, the educated, modern nurse he loves, that they will have to postpone their engagement once again. Caught between conflicting claims of these two utterly different women and trapped by a culture in which adultery can ruin lives and careers, Lin has been waiting for eighteen years. This year, he promises, will be different.
A Map of Betrayal
By Ha Jin | Pantheon, 2014
When Lilian Shang, born and raised in America, discovers her father's diary after the death of her parents, she is shocked by the secrets it contains. She knew that her father, Gary, convicted decades ago of being a mole in the CIA, was the most important Chinese spy ever caught. But his diary, an astonishing chronicle of his journey as a Communist intelligence agent, reveals the pain and longing that his double life entailed—and point to a hidden second family that he’d left behind in China. As Lilian follows her father's trail back into the Chinese provinces, she begins to grasp the extent of his dilemma: he is a man torn between loyalty to his motherland and the love he came to feel for his adopted country. She sees how his sense of duty distorted his life, and as she starts to understand that Gary too had been betrayed, Lilian finds that it is up to her to prevent his tragedy from endangering yet another generation of Shangs.
A stunning portrait of a multinational family and an unflinching inquiry into the meaning of citizenship, patriotism, and home, A Map of Betrayal is a spy novel that only Ha Jin could write.