Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Ha Jin,This is his pen name. His real name is Jin Xuefei the award-winning novelist, was born in north China, served in the People’s Liberation Army, studied English literature in college and then arrived at Brandeis University, near Boston, to study for his PhD. He made several fateful decisions shortly after arriving here in the 1980s: he would write primarily in his second language, English, and he would speak out publicly about what he viewed as the injustices and abuses of the government of his native country. One of those decisions, to write in English, resulted in a series of acclaimed novels, including “Waiting,” winner of the 1999 National Book Award, and “War Trash,” a 2005 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction. The other, fashioning himself a dissident, has effectively barred him from returning to mainland China. What follows is an edited transcript of our talk, this past summer. Ha Jin Illustration by Lauren Crow You have often said that you gravitate Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.