Mo Yan as Storyteller: A Conversation with Chinese writer and Nobel laureate Mo Yan in Dialogue with Ha Jin

Happy Friday!

For those of you who missed the interview of Chinese author and Nobel laureate Mo Yan reflecting on his creative process and the work of sharing Chinese stories with a global audience, joined by novelist Ha Jin for a conversation on their work and its reception, moderated by Professor David Der-wei Wang, see below:

Sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the CCK Inter-University Center for Sinology, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University.

Mo Yan is a Chinese author and Nobel laureate known for his hallucinatory realism, merging folk tales, history and the present. His writings include: The Red Sorghum (1986), The Garlic Ballads (1995), Big Breasts & Wide Hips (1996) and Life and Death are Wearing Me Out (2006) and Frog (2009).

Ha Jin is professor of creative writing at Boston University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Ha Jin earned his Master’s Degree at Shandong University in China, and in 1986 came to the United States to begin his doctoral work at Brandeis University. He completed his studies at Boston University’s Creative Writing Program in 1994 and went on to teach poetry, fiction and English Literature at Emory University in Atlanta. Since 1990, Ha Jin has written nearly twenty works of poetry and fiction. His novel Waiting, which won him the National Book Award in 1999 and the PEN/Faulkner in 2000, was based on his experiences during his five-year service in the Red Army. He was awarded the PEN/Faulkner again in 2005 for War Trash. In addition to the National Book award, Ha Jin received the Pen/Hemingway award for his first collection of short stories, Ocean of Words (1996), and the Flannery O’Connor prize for his second, Under the Red Flag (1997). His newest books are A Free Life (2007), The Writer as Migrant (2008), A Good Fall (2009), Nanjing Requiem (2011), and A Map of Betrayal (2014).

David Der-wei Wang is the Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University, Director of the CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies, and Academician, Academia Sinica. His research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, late Qing fiction and drama; comparative literary theory; colonial and modern Taiwanese fiction, and Asian American and diasporic literature; plus Chinese intellectuals and artists in the mid-20th century. Wang took his B.A. in foreign languages and literature from National Taiwan University, and his M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Wang’s recent publications include Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule (co-ed. with Ping-hui Liao, 2007), Globalizing Chinese Literature(co-ed. with Jin Tsu, 2010),and The Lyrical in Epic Time: Modern Chinese Intellectuals and Artists through the 1949 Crisis (2014). He is Editor of Harvard New Literary History of Modern China (forthcoming, 2015).