War Trash: A Novel

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Pub. Date:
2007.
Language:
English
Description
War Trash, the extraordinary new novel by the National Book Award–winning author of Waiting, is Ha Jin’s most ambitious work to date: a powerful, unflinching story 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—and paints an intimate portrait of conformity and dissent against a sweeping canvas of confrontation.

Set in 1951–53, War Trash takes the form of the memoir of Yu Yuan, a young Chinese army officer, one of a corps of “volunteers” sent by Mao to help shore up the Communist side in Korea. When Yu is captured, his command of English thrusts him into the role of unofficial interpreter in the psychological warfare that defines the POW camp.

Taking us behind the barbed wire, Ha Jin draws on true historical accounts to render the complex world the prisoners inhabit—a world of strict surveillance and complete allegiance to authority. Under the rules of war and the constraints of captivity, every human instinct is called into question, to the point that what it means to be human comes to occupy the foremost position in every prisoner’s mind.

As Yu and his fellow captives struggle to create some sense of community while remaining watchful of the deceptions inherent in every exchange, only the idea of home can begin to hold out the promise that they might return to their former selves. But by the end of this unforgettable novel—an astonishing addition to the literature of war that echoes classics like Dostoevsky’s Memoirs from the House of the Dead and the works of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen—the very concept of home will be more profoundly altered than they can even begin to imagine.
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ISBN:
9780307430113
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Grouped Work ID654cfb6c-a5cd-3901-a3cb-65ae03f0bd49
Grouping Titlewar trash
Grouping Authorha jin
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2021-06-14 04:51:57AM
Last Indexed2021-06-14 05:09:32AM
Novelist Primary ISBN9780375422768

Solr Details

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authorHa Jin
author2-roleBaker & Taylor Axis 360.
author_displayJin, Ha
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display_description

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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subject_facetFICTION / Literary
title_displayWar Trash A Novel
title_fullWar Trash A Novel
War Trash Jin, Ha.
title_shortWar Trash
title_subA Novel
topic_facetFICTION / Literary
Fiction
Historical Fiction
Literature