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Chinese writer Mo Yan wins 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature

English.news.cn   2012-10-11 19:06:09            
 • Chinese writer Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, Swedish Academy announced.
 • Last year's literature prize went to Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer.
 • The awarding ceremony will be held on Dec. 10.


This file photo taken on Sept. 6, 2011 shows Chinese writer Mo Yan. Chinese writer Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy announced in Stockholm on Thursday. (Xinhua/Li Yan) 

STOCKHOLM, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese writer Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, announced Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Thursday.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 is awarded to Chinese writer Mo Yan "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary," said Englund at a press conference.

Mo Yan, a pseudonym for Guan Moye, was born in 1955 and grew up in Gaomi in Shandong province in eastern China. His parents were farmers.

As a 12-year-old during the Cultural Revolution he left school to work, first in agriculture, later in a factory. In 1976 he joined the People's Liberation Army and during this time began to study literature and write. His first short story was published in a literary journal in 1981.

"In his writing, Mo Yan draws on his youthful experiences and on settings in the province of his birth. This is apparent in his novel Hong gaoliang jiazu (1987, in English Red Sorghum 1993)," said the academy in a statement of Mo's biography.

The book consists of five stories that unfold and interweave in Gaomi in several turbulent decades in the 20th century, with depictions of bandit culture, the Japanese occupation and the harsh conditions endured by poor farm workers, according to the biography. Red Sorghum was successfully filmed in 1987, directed by famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou.

Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition, the academy commented in the biographical statement.

In addition to his novels, Mo Yan has published many short stories and essays on various topics. Despite his social criticism, he is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost contemporary authors, the statement added.

Dozens of his works have been translated into English, French and Japanese and many other languages.

Last year's literature prize went to Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer.

Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, established the Nobel Prizes in his will in 1895. The first awards were handed out six years later.

The awarding ceremony will be held on Dec. 10.

The winner will win a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 8 million Swedish Kronor (about 1 million U.S. dollars). 


Video: The literature of 2012 Nobel winner Mo Yan

Mo Yan says "very surprised" upon winning Nobel Literature Prize

GAOMI, Shandong, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese writer Mo Yan said late Thursday that he was "very surprised" at winning the Nobel Literature Prize.

"(I was) very surprised upon winning the prize because I felt I was not very senior in terms of qualification (among Chinese writers). There are many good writers and my ranking was not so high," he told reporters. Full story

Profile: Nobel laureate in literature Mo Yan

Chinese congratulate Mo Yan after Nobel Literature Prize win

BEIJING, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authors and netizens congratulated Mo Yan on Thursday night after he became the country's first Nobel Literature Prize laureate.

Mo's win brought joy to his supporters as no Chinese national has ever won the Nobel prize in literature in its century-long history. Full story

Backgrounder: Latest winners of Nobel Prize in Literature

China holds breath for Nobel literature recognition

BEIJING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- As the globally prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature has never been conferred to a Chinese national during its history of more than a century, the possibility that this may be the year to end that trend has created a great deal of buzz on the Internet.

The speculation started on Oct. 8 with a report by Agence France-Press, which said China's Mo Yan and Japan's Haruki Murakami share the top spots on two Swedish betting sites to be named as the 2012 winner of the prize on Thursday. Full story

The best is yet to come, says Mao Dun winner Mo Yan

BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- "The great novel that matches the great times has yet to be written," writer Mo Yan says at the awards ceremony of the Eighth Mao Dun Literature Prize, held on Sept 19 at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

It is out here, beckoning us, but the path to it remains unclear, he adds. Full story

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Editor: Lu Hui
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