National Book Award-winner Ha Jin's arresting debut novel , In the Pond, is a darkly funny portrait of an amateur calligrapher who wields his delicate artist's brush as a weapon against the powerful party bureaucrats who rule his provincial Chinese town.
Shao Bin is a downtrodden worker at the Harvest Fertilizer Plant by day and an aspiring artist by night. Passed over on the list to receive a decent apartment for his young family, while those in favor with the party's leaders are selected ahead of him, Shao Bin chafes at his powerlessness. When he attempts to expose his corrupt superiors by circulating satirical cartoons, he provokes an escalating series of merciless counterattacks that send ripples beyond his small community. Artfully crafted and suffused with earthy wit, In the Pond is a moving tale about humble lives caught up in larger social forces.
About the Author
Ha Jin left his native China in 1985 to attend Brandeis University. He is the author of five novels, three story collections, and three books of poetry. He has received the National Book Award, two PEN/Faulkner Awards, the PEN/ Hemingway Award, the Asian American Literary Award, and the Flannery O'Connor Award. He lives in the Boston area and is a professor of English at Boston University.
"Ravishing . . . vividly described." The Village Voice,/i>
"Though art and politics figure in the action, In the Pond is first and foremost a comedy-naughty, lusty, raucously entertaining. Ha Jin's language echoes working-class Chinese at its rough, bawdy best." --The New York Times Book Review
"Fascinating . . . spare and taut. . . . A fable about morality and power." --Chicago Tribune