"I wanted to write in English, but it took me about a year to decide to do it wholeheartedly. I was intimidated. To be a literary writer does not mean just to write books—you need to look for some space in a language and find your niche in it. That was what intimidated me. Beyond the practical reason of earning a livelihood, there was the desire for a meaningful existence despite the forces that mean to reduce and silence you. In this sense, for me, to write is to suffer, but there is so much meaning in it that I must fight my battles on the page."
--Ha Jin, from an interview with The Paris Review