'A triumph of humanism in war-ravaged China of the 1940s, this work of autobiographical fiction not only shows Ba Jin at his best, but also demonstrates why he is rightly viewed as the 'conscience of China.''— Michelle Yeh, department of East Asian languages, University of California, Davis
A major work by a towering figure in twentieth century Chinese literature, Ward Four intimately reveals the frailties and strengths of the human spirit and the will to survive. Set in a hospital in rural China during World War II, it provides a haunting window into the isolation and displacement faced by ordinary citizens. Ba Jin's hospital ward is a dark corner where life and death intersect and the absurd is transformed into the comic. Amid the uncertainties of war are the foundations of strength and the will to survive during one of the darkest periods of Chinese history.
Ba Jin (1904–2005) is widely considered one of China's greatest literary figures.
Haili Kong is professor of Chinese literature at Swarthmore College.
Howard Goldblatt is professor of Chinese literature at Notre Dame University.