Ha Jin, the recipient of many of America’s most prestigious awards for writing, is the pen named used by the Chinese-American writer Jin Xuefei. He received the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel Waiting; the PEN/Hemingway Award for Ocean of Words; the PEN/Faulkner Award for War Trash, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for his story collection Under the Red Flag. The First Emperor is Ha Jin’s first opera libretto.
Ha Jin was born in Liaoning, China in 1956 and served five years in the People’s Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution. Jin later received a Bachelor’s degree in English studies from Heilongjiang University and a Master’s degree in American literature from Shandong University. He left China in 1985 to study for a Ph.D. at Brandeis University and, shortly after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, decided to emigrate. He is currently a professor at Boston University and lives outside of Boston.
Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, November 2006