哈金 (Ha Jin)，原名金雪飞，美籍华人作家，出生在辽宁，二十九岁移居美国，现任波士顿大学英语文学写作教授。他中年才开始自己的写作之路，并且是用异国他乡的语言来讲述发生在中国的悲欢离合，但他的作品得到了广泛的认可。其中《等待》(Waiting) 作为哈金的代表作获得了美国“国家图书奖” (National Book Award for Fiction) 和“笔会/福克纳文学奖” (PEN/ Faulkner Award for Fiction) 两项大奖。这本小说在西方世界广受好评，哈金的语言功底让英语国家读者赞叹不已，烙印着深刻、鲜明的中国本土印记的故事则是让他们大开眼见。
《等待》讲述了一个地地道道的中国故事，余华称其让人感到了“切肤之痛”。故事发生在二十世纪六七十年代的中国，军医孔林 (Lin Kong) 爱上了同单位的护士吴曼娜 (Manna Wu)。为了追逐自由的爱情，孔林决定和住在乡下的结发妻子刘淑玉 (Shuyu) 离婚。每年夏天休假，孔林都回家和妻子商量离婚事宜。性格温和，任劳任怨的淑玉每次都是顺从地答应着，但到了法院，离婚官司却因为她的沉默不语而不了了之。一年又一年，婚始终没离成。
Every summer, Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu.
Together they has appeared at the courthouse in Wujia Town many times, but she had always changed her mind at the last moment when the judge asked if she would accept a divorce.
Year after year, they went to Wujia Town and came back with the same marriage license issued to them by the county's registry office twenty years before.
Lin vaguely remembered the driver, but couldn't tell what family the girl belonged to. He was aware that they didn't greet him the way the villagers would do one another.
Again her gaze disturbed him. He was unsure whether her petulance had been caused by his attempt to divorce her mother.
He was unhappy that his daughter seemed somewhat estranged from him now.
But when he returned home in the winter and saw his fiancée in person, he was dismayed—she looked so old, as if in her forties, her face wrinkled and her hands leathery.
He tried reasoning with his parents to get out of the engagement, but they were adamant and said he was silly.
How could they break the engagement without proving that Shuyu couldn't be a suitable wife? Had they done that, the whole village would have turned against them.
He was in his late forties, but he did not seem like a middle-aged man.
By contrast, his wife Shuyu was a small, withered woman and looked much older than her age.
By now she was almost twenty-six, on the verge of becoming an old maid, whose standard age was twenty-seven to most people's minds.
In normal circumstances she wouldn't have had difficulty in finding a boyfriend, but the hospital always kept over a hundred women nurses, most of whom were around twenty, healthy and normal, so young officers could easily find girlfriends among them.
The hospital's regulations prohibited a man and a woman on the staff from walking together outside the compound, unless they were married or engaged.
Because Lin was a married man and Manna couldn't become his fiancée, they were not allowed to walk together outside the hospital grounds. By now, after so many years of restriction, they had grown accustomed to it.
——“Tell her not to wait for me. I'm a useless man, not worth waiting for.”
——“Don't be so hard on yourself, Dad. We'll always wait for you.”
He felt a clutching in his chest and turned away to sweep the kitchen ceiling, trying hard to hold back his tears. He was upset and touched at the same time.
Outside, Manna was cheerfully wishing "Happy Spring Festival" to someone passing by. She sounded so pleasant that Lin noticed her voice was still resonant with life.