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Readings to Go: Ha Jin

The award-winning novelist and CAS prof reads from a work in progress

In the video above, Ha Jin, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of creative writing, reads from “A Composer and His Parakeet,” the first in a collection of stories he is working on.

Jin (GRS’94) studied in the Creative Writing Program and returned to Boston University as a full professor in September 2002. Born in China in 1956, Xuefei Jin (Ha Jin is his pen name) was a teenager when China entered the Cultural Revolution. His novel Waiting, which won a National Book Award and a PEN/Faulkner Award, was based on his experiences during his five-year service in the Red Army, beginning at age 14. He earned a master’s degree at Shandong University in China, and in 1986 he came to the United States to begin doctoral work at Brandeis. He received the PEN/Hemingway Award for his first collection of short stories, Ocean of Words, and the Flannery O’Connor Prize for his second, Under the Red Flag. His latest book, War Trash, won the PEN/Faulker Award in 2005. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.

Jin was one of seven faculty members to read from their work at the annual Faculty Reading on January 30, 2007. Sponsored by BU’s Creative Writing Program, the event included readings by Leslie Epstein, a CAS professor and director of the Creative Writing Program; Robert Pinsky, a CAS professor and three-time U.S. poet laureate; Jennifer Haigh, a CAS lecturer in creative writing and a PEN/Hemingway and PEN/Winship award winner; Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Louise Glück, a CAS lecturer in creative writing and another former U.S. poet laureate; David Ferry, a CAS lecturer in creative writing and winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Bingham Poetry Prize, and the Teasdale Prize; and poet, scholar, and translator Rosanna Warren, a University Professor and BU’s Emma Ann MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities.

See tomorrow’s BU Today for a video of Robert Pinsky reading from his work. Click here to watch Leslie Epstein reading from his book King of the Jews.