(Im)migrant Writing, Moving Homelands: Ha Jin 哈金

  • King-Kok Cheung


(IM)MIGRANT WRITING analyzes the double-voice in Ha Jin’s The Writer as Migrant (Migrant) and A Free Life (AFL), and uses the former to shed light on the latter. Migrant, a commentary on bilingual English writers, doubles as apologia; AFL, an immigrant tale, doubles as a linguistic voyage, wherein the author turns lexical displacement into creative possibility. Jin’s marshaling of Chinese and American tropes deliberately detaches the literary allusions from their national moorings, a figurative move in keeping with the idea of freedom in the novel, which is as much about transitioning to a second tongue as finding a new home. The themes explored in Migrant—the social role of a writer, writing in a second language, and the shifting contours of homeland—are fleshed out in AFL.


Mother Tongue Native Land Native Country Protestant Work Ethic Chinese Writer 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • King-Kok Cheung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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