Chinese-American National Book Award Winner Ha Jin to Deliver Paumanok Lecture at Kumble Theater
Lecture and reading to take place on March 10, 6:30 p.m., at Brooklyn Campus
Alka Gupta,Assistant Director of Public Relations
Long Island University
Brooklyn, N.Y. – Award-winning poet, fiction writer and essayist Ha Jin will deliver Long Island University’s annual “Starting from Paumanok” lecture on American literature and culture at the Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts on the Brooklyn Campus. Free and open to the public, the event will be held Thursday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m.
Jin’s appearance at the Paumanok lecture is sponsored by the Brooklyn Campus’ English department and is funded by the Mellon Foundation, the John P. McGrath Fund, and the Campus’ “Voices of the Rainbow” series.
A native of China, Jin was a member of the People’s Liberation Army before moving to the United States in 1986. Choosing to write solely in English, he has earned several prestigious awards in his adopted country. Jin’s books include “Waiting,” a 1999 National Book Award winner that is based on his five-year service in the communist Chinese army; “War Trash,” which earned a PEN/Faulkner Award in 2005; and “The Writer as Migrant” and “A Good Fall,” which delve into the Chinese immigrant experience in America. He teaches English at Boston University.
“It was important for us to have someone who writes in English but is not a native English speaker deliver the Paumanok lecture,” said English professor Louis Parascandola, who oversees the “Voices of the Rainbow” series. “We wanted to expand people’s idea of what an American is and what American literature is, with an emphasis on the immigrant experience, which is timely.”
The lecture takes its name from a Walt Whitman poem that first appeared in the 1860 edition of “Leaves of Grass.” Its title invokes the Native American word for Long Island and acknowledges the University’s geographic and cultural connection to one of Brooklyn’s (and Long Island’s) foremost literary figures.
Since its inauguration in 1983, the “Starting from Paumanok” lecture has featured scholars, playwrights and literary luminaries, including Lynn Nottage, Walter Mosley, Colson Whitehead, Ed Bullins, Edward Said and Elizabeth Hardwick.
Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus is located at 1 University Plaza at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Dekalb Avenues in Brooklyn. For more information, call Professor Louis Parascandola at (718) 488-1050.
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