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book cover of War Trash

War Trash

(2004)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction Best Book
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Best Book (nominee)
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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"Ha Jin is one of the finest writers in America: subtle, huge-hearted, possessed of an utterly original, mind-altering vision of the world, and an exquisite, disciplined style. His work never fails to thrill me, and expand my ideas about life, and about the transformative powers of fiction." - George Saunders

"Ha Jin's historical novel about Chinese prisoners held during the Korean War couldn't be more topical. In telling this story from the loser's perspective, he has called upon all of his wonderful and impressive skills as a writer. He never shies away from the degradation of the prisoners, while at the time revealing small humanities that happen in even the most desperate of circumstances." - Lisa See

"I am enthralled by Ha Jin's work: he always presents moral conundrums within historical contexts; the frayed edges of humanity; the ways in which both the tenacious and hopeless survive. He is one of our most gifted and essential writers." - Amy Tan


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Used availability for Ha Jin's War Trash

Hardback Editions

September 2005 : UK Hardback
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Title: War Trash
Author(s): Ha Jin
ISBN: 0-241-14329-2 / 978-0-241-14329-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2005 : USA Hardback
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Title: War Trash
Author(s): Ha Jin
ISBN: 0-7862-7188-4 / 978-0-7862-7188-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2004 : USA Hardback
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Title: War Trash
Author(s): Ha Jin
ISBN: 0-375-42276-5 / 978-0-375-42276-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Pantheon
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

July 2006 : UK Paperback
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Title: War Trash
Author(s): Ha Jin
ISBN: 0-14-102396-1 / 978-0-14-102396-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


May 2005 : UK Paperback
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Title: War Trash
Author(s): Ha Jin
ISBN: 0-14-102404-6 / 978-0-14-102404-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 2005 : USA Paperback
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Title: War Trash
Author(s): Ha Jin
ISBN: 1-4000-7579-3 / 978-1-4000-7579-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


2004 : USA Paperback

Title: War Trash
Author(s): Ha Jin
ISBN: 0-7394-5281-9 / 978-0-7394-5281-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

December 2007 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: War Trash (Vintage International)
Author(s): Ha Jin
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA