BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- On the doors of Mo Yan's hometown house in Gaomi is a black-inked Chinese calligraphy couplet that reads: "honesty and uprightness keep a family lasting, poetry and books alike circulate far over time."
The couplet, usually posted during the traditional Spring Festival, is favored by Chinese people to convey their hopes for their offspring to succeed through knowledge.
He was awarded this year's Nobel prize for literature by the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Thursday, the country's first indigenous writer to win the top literature award.
Gaomi, where Mo was born and raised used to be called Yi'an and has a history of about 2,200 years. It is sometimes dubbed "the town of phoenix".
Mo, like a phoenix, is shining on the world literary stage, carving his name on this piece of land. Gaomi is also home to historical figures like Yan Ying, Zheng Xuan and Liu Yong, all known for their profound knowledge.
Gaomi, a county-level city in east China's Shandong province, became known worldwide overnight after Mo's prize.
Home to about 860,000 people, Gaomi has a tradition of colorful folk arts such as clay sculpture, paper cuts, traditional new year paintings, as well as an indigenous opera, Mao Qiang.
Mo, 57, who grew up in a rural family in a northeast village of Gaomi, once said his writings were strongly influenced by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian writer.
Yet he insisted that his own writings were deeply rooted in Chinese native literature, setting most of his stories on the land of his birth.
Mo said the folk arts inspired and influenced his writings.
"I think my hometown is closely related with my writings," Mo told reporters after he won the Nobel prize. "I have been indulged in these folk arts since I was a boy, and these folk elements have permeated into my works, having an influence on or even determining my literary style."
His most famous novella, Red Sorghum, depicts history-based anti-Japanese wars in Gaomi. The book was later adapted into an award-winning film by Chinese director Zhang Yimou.
The Swedish Academy described Mo's works as having merged "hallucinatory realism" with Chinese folk tales, history and contemporary life.
"Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan 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", read the Academy's citation for the award.
Mo brought fame to his hometown and he is also loved and cherished by his fellow countrymen in Gaomi.
The Literature Museum of Mo Yan was founded in 2009 within the No. 1 Middle School of Gaomi, displaying his works and providing a platform for Mo's study and research.
"Mo Yan is the pride of Gaomi," said Mao Weijie, curator of the museum and a long-time friend. "We are going to grow the museum to enrich the literary spirit of Mo Yan."
Mo left his hometown of Gaomi at age of 21, when he joined the army after years of farming. He dropped out of school due to the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
After he settled down in Beijing, Mo returned to Gaomi to spend time with his father, to visit friends, and to draw inspiration for his writings.
When asked if he would consider leaving China to resettle in another country, Mo said:" Why should I leave? I don't even want to leave Gaomi, where I have many friends and the food suits me so well."