|HOUSTON—The 2008/2009 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series presents an evening with National Book Award winning Chinese American writer Ha Jin. The reading takes place on Monday, February 16, at Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby, at 7:30 pm (doors open at 6:45). Tickets are $5 general admission, available on-line at www.inprinthouston.org. Unsold tickets will be available at the door on the evening of the reading, along with free rush tickets for students and senior citizens 65+. For more information, www.inprinthouston.org or 713.521.2026. |
Jin will read from his latest novel, A Free Life, and then take part in an onstage interview with St. John Flynn of Houston Public Radio/KUHF 88.7 FM. The evening will conclude with a book sale and signing, presented by Brazos Bookstore.
Of Ha Jin, The New Yorker says, “Reading him is almost like falling in love: you experience anxiety, profound self-consciousness, and an uncomfortable sensitivity to the world—and somehow, it’s a pleasure.” Jin emigrated from China to the United States in the aftermath of Tiananmen Square. He won the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for his novel, Waiting, in 1999, at which time he had been writing in English for only 12 years. He is now the author of seven works of fiction and three books of poetry.
In his first novels, including War Trash, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Jin looked back to his homeland, writing with what the Los Angeles Times Book Review called “an absorbed passion for minutiae characteristic of Dickens and Balzac.”
Jin’s new novel, A Free Life, is his first set in the U.S. It follows the Wu family from Boston to Atlanta, where the main character experiences a kind of liberation. Entertainment Weekly calls the novel, “Lovely . . . Marvelous . . . One of the most powerful novels of the year,” and Booklist writes, “Ha Jin’s tale of one immigrant family’s odyssey in America affirms humankind’s essential mission, to honor life.” Ha Jin teaches at Boston University.
The Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, now in its 28th season, is presented by Inprint, a literary arts nonprofit organization with the mission of inspiring readers and writers. This reading is presented in association with Asia Society Texas Center. The Series receives generous underwriting support from The Brown Foundation, Inc., Weatherford International, and is also supported by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, “which believes that a great nation deserves great art.” Inprint also receives in-kind support from the Alley Theatre, Continental Airlines, Houston Chronicle, and KUHF 88.7 FM, as well as other support from the Texas Commission on the Arts and The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. Special thanks to the Chinese Community Center for providing promotional support.