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‘War Trash’ wins PEN/Faulkner fiction prize

Ha Jin novel praised as ‘powerful, unflinching story’
/ Source: The Associated Press

Ha Jin’s “War Trash,” a novel about Chinese POWs under American captivity during the Korean War, has won the PEN/Faulkner prize for best fiction by an American author.

In announcing the award Wednesday, PEN/Faulkner co-chairs Robert Stone and Susan Richards Shreve praised the book as “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.”

Ha Jin will receive $15,000; a prize of $5,000 goes to the four runners-up: Marilynne Robinson’s “Gilead,” which last week won the National Book Critics Circle award; Edwidge Dandicat’s “The Dew Breaker”; Jerome Charyn’s “The Green Lantern”; and Steve Yarbrough’s “Prisoners of War.”

Previous PEN/Faulkner winners include Philip Roth, Don DeLillo and Ha Jin, who won in 2000 for the novel “Waiting.”