A balance of fact and fiction, by Mei Jia (China Daily), 2 May 2012
China Daily reporter Mei Jia interviewed Ha Jin on Nanjing Requiem, his latest book, which has been released in both Chinese and English...
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Predictably, the China Daily write-up neglects to mention that this is the first of Ha Jin's novels to be allowed to be translated and published in China.
Might that have anything to do with the fact that the émigré writer has at last written something that can be interpreted as "patriotic"?
Bruce Humes, May 2, 2012, 8:03p.m.
It's at least the second of his novels in translation. Waiting was published in 2002 by Hunan Literature and Arts Press: 等待
Critic Shi Zhanjun 施战军 called it an unadorned masterpiece in an essay that also remarked on the differences in the way that English-language and Chinese-language audiences would react to the novel, its subject matter, and its language.
jdmartinsen, May 2, 2012, 11:34p.m.
You are right: Strictly speaking, Ha Jin's Waiting (等待) has been translated and published in China.
But if it's difficult to buy and the author himself is strongly dissatisfied with the published version, that puts the book's "publication" into a (particularly Chinese) grey zone, doesn't it?
From a Q & A with Ha Jin in The Paris Review (Winter 2009):
Interviewer: Are none of your books available in China?
Jin: Only Waiting. After a while, I began to feel that it was hopeless to get my books published there, so I gave up. Even with Waiting they published it, but then they suspended publication. And what they published, they edited. [end excerpt]
A quick check for Waiting on two of China's leading online bookstores generates somewhat bizarre results. At Amazon.cn, type in the author's name and up comes Nanjing Requiem in Chinese, as well as a link to 等待 (Waiting); but the link does not lead you to Ha Jin's Waiting. At Dangdang.com, type in Ha Jin and you get one result, Ha Jin's *Waiting" in Chinese. But click on the link and you can't find that book.
Bruce Humes, May 3, 2012, 9:34p.m.
Just to clarify, almost all of Ha Jin's books have been translated into Chinese, by Wang Ruiyun 王瑞芸, for instance. Most have only been published in Taiwan / Hongkong, however.
Lucas Klein, May 8, 2012, 12:21p.m.
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