Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
War Trash, by Ha Jin
A novel by National Book Award winner Ha Jin (Waiting) follows a Chinese American soldier POW imprisoned in Korea during the Korean War. In Jin's typical cyclic plot structure, where the action escalates to increasing circles of violence and despair, and with vivid historical detail, Yu Yuan's prison ordeal includes the culture of power struggle between two ruthless factions of pro-Communists. Yuan jockeys between the factions working toward not only his survival but that of his family.