A New York Times Bestseller
From the National Book Award-winning author of Waiting comes a powerful, unflinching novel that opens a window on an unknown aspect of a little-known war - the experiences of Chinese POWs held by Americans during the Korean conflict. Set in 1951-1953, War Trash takes the form of the memoir of Yu Yuan, a young Chinese army officer with the corps of "volunteers" sent by Mao to help shore up the Communist side in Korea. Ha Jin draws on true historical accounts to render the complex world the prisoners inhabit.
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"I am enthralled by Ha Jin's work: he always presents moral conundrums within historical contexts; the frayed edges of humanity; the ways in which both the tenacious and hopeless survive. He is one of our most gifted and essential writers." -Amy Tan
"This is more than a novel. It's an historical document about a forgotten part of a forgotten war. No historian could bring to light this tale of interminable loneliness and suffering about Chinese prisoners during the Korean War as well as Ha Jin has." -Robert D. Kaplan, author of Warrior Politics
"Ha Jin is one of the finest writers in America: subtle, huge-hearted, possessed of an utterly original, mind-altering vision of the world, and an exquisite, disciplined style. His work never fails to thrill me, and expand my ideas about life, and about the transformative powers of fiction." -George Saunders
"Ha Jin's historical novel about Chinese prisoners held during the Korean War couldn't be more topical. In telling this story from the loser's perspective, he has called upon all of his wonderful and impressive skills as a writer. He never shies away from the degradation of the prisoners, while at the time revealing small humanities that happen in even the most desperate of circumstances." -Lisa See, author of On Gold Mountain
"Ha Jin's stark, evocative prose transports us to a harrowing world we have never before seen and which we will not soon forget." -Michael Shapiro, author of The Shadow in the Sun: A Korean Year of Love and Sorrow
"Ha Jin is emerging as a major figure in the literary interpretation of life in Communist China. War Trash shows how Chinese men trapped in POW camps in Korea endured cruelty, manipulation, and mind-boggling turns of fate. Still, under Ha Jin's steady moral vision, their humanity, sympathy, and rationality remain apparent. In the end, the trampled 'trash' uplifts the reader." -Perry Link, Professor of Chinese, Princeton University
Ha Jin's masterful new novel casts a searchlight into a forgotten corner of modern history, the experience of Chinese soldiers held in U.S. POW camps during the Korean War. In 1951 Yu Yuan, a scholarly and self-effacing clerical officer in Mao's "volunteer" army, is taken prisoner south of the 38th Parallel. Because he speaks English, he soon becomes an intermediary between his compatriots and their American captors.
With Yuan as guide, we are ushered into the secret world behind the barbed wire, a world where kindness alternates with blinding cruelty and one has infinitely more to fear from one's fellow prisoners than from the guards. Vivid in its historical detail, profound in its imaginative empathy, War Trash is Ha Jin's most ambitious book to date.
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Book Description Penguin, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 368 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0141023961
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0141023961