Notable Quotes
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Chinese-American writer (1956- )

The more you move, the stronger you'll grow, not like a tree that can be killed if you uproot it.

HA JIN, A Free Life

When the first emperor wanted to unify the country, one of the major policies was to create one system of written signs. By force, brutal force, he eliminated all the other scripts. One script became the official script. All the others were banned. And those who used other scripts were punished severely. And then the meanings of all the characters, over the centuries, had to be kept uniform as a part of the political apparatus. So from the very beginning the written word was a powerful political tool.

HA JIN, The Paris Review, winter 2009

Once you've done it with him, he won't abandon you. If he really loves you, if he's a man with a heart, he'll follow you wherever you go. If he doesn't, he isn't the man you want, is he?

HA JIN, Waiting

In the beginning I was always halfhearted. At every turn, I thought I would fail. That’s why it’s good for me to have a regular job. A good book doesn’t always sell. It can be a failure commercially. But because I have a job, I don’t care about that. I don’t think about how a book will do in the market whatsoever. I just write the things that I want to write. For me, that is entirely necessary. Otherwise, if the book didn’t sell, I’d feel guilty and responsible to the publisher and then I’d think about how to make a book sell and that’s too much. It’s too much.

HA JIN, The Paris Review, winter 2009


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