||Jin Xue-fei is a contemporary Chinese-American writer and writes in English using the pen name of Ha Jin. He has won the National Book Award in 1999 and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2000 for his novel Waiting. Also, his War Trash won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2005 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. These awards have distinguished Ha Jin from many other native American writers. His works has been translated into more than twenty languages so far. When Waiting won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2000, the judges praised Ha Jin as “﹝having﹞established himself as one of the great sturdy realists still writing in a postmodern age.”
In Taiwan, China Times Publishing Company starts to publish a series of Ha Jin’s novels from 2000 on, and thus creates a craze for them with the introduction from publishers and literary magazines. In China, the power of Ha Jin’s novels also overwhelms the academic community and elicits a lot of reviews even though all novels except Waiting are forbidden to publish due to political reasons. The current researcher believes that Ha Jin’s novels are surely to bring up another trend. The research on Ha Jin’s novels in Taiwan, however, is not enough to provide a complete picture. Based on this, the current researcher is thus motivated to write this dissertation.
This dissertation intends to discuss the historical and social meanings and literary performance of Ha Jin’s novels, and is divided into eight chapters. Chapter 1 explains the motivation and scope of the research, former research results, the steps of the current research, and the allocation of the rest of the chapters. Chapter 2 provides a generalization and an analysis of Ha Jin’s generation background, personal life, and literary career. Chapter 3 analyzes Under the Red Flag and Waiting, which set the cultural revolution as the background of the novels. Chapter 4 analyzes The Bridegroom, In the Pond, and The Crazed, which set the reforming and opening period as the background of the novels. Chapter 5 analyzes Ocean of Words and War Trash, which adopt war as the materials of the novels. Chapter 6 analyzes A Free Life, which adopts immigration to the US as its materials. Chapter 7 generalizes the setting of the plot, the depiction of the characters, the description of the settings, and the literary performance of Ha Jin’s novels. Finally, chapter 8 provides a conclusion from two perspectives: styles and characteristics of Ha Jin’s novels, and their key elements to success.