This paper explores the conceptualizations of identity and home in Ha Jin's literary identity and his 2007 migrant novel A Free Life through the lens of diaspora discourse. In his seminal study, Safran attributes diasporas' longing for homeland to the pull factors in the old world and the push factors in the new world. However, Ha Jin's literary trajectory and A Free Life suggest a new dimension to this: the old world (China) and the new world (America) pushing and pulling diasporas constantly, forcing them to be always en route between the two. Their identities are constantly relocated and reconstructed along with their routes. The paper explores how Ha Jin and his novel challenge the limits of identity labels like Chinese, American, and Chinese-American, while portraying the complex identity formation of diasporas.

You do not currently have access to this content.