Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan is interviewed by Xinhua in his hometown Gaomi, east China's Shandong Province, Oct. 12, 2012. The Swedish Academy awarded Chinese writer Mo Yan the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature Thursday in Stockholm, Sweden. Mo Yan said in a Friday interview that his works are closely related to his hometown. Mo Yan, a pseudonym for Guan Moye, was born in Gaomi of Shandong in February 1955. He started publishing literary works in 1981. His major works include "The Red Sorghum", "Big Breasts and Wide Hips", "Sandalwood Penalty" and "Frog". (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)
GAOMI, Shandong, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Nobel Literature Prize winner Mo Yan said Friday that eyes worldwide will read Chinese contemporary literature over a period of time.
"It (my winning the prize) should play a rather positive role, but the effect shouldn't be overestimated," Mo said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua in his hometown Gaomi in east China's Shandong Province.
Mo became the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Literature Prize in its century-long history Thursday, bringing joy to other writers and readers throughout the country.
NO HIGH EXPECTATION FOR WINNING
The 57-year-old said he did not have high expectations for winning.
"Actually, I thought I only had a slim chance to win," he said.
"There are so many good writers throughout the world, and in China. It's like I was standing in a long queue for a prize that is only awarded to one person in the world annually."
He said the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy informed him of the win through a phone call, 20 minutes before the news was publicly announced.
OBSESSED WITH READING IN CHILDHOOD
Mo, who was born into a farmer's family in a village and dropped out of school at the age of 12, started reading books in a mill of his house using the flickering light of an oil lamp as he did not want to work in the field.
"In my childhood, there were only a few books available in my village. I had to resort to every means to find a book to read. I traded books with others and even churned the mill and reaped wheat for others in exchange for books," he said.
"When I finished reading all the books available in villages around, I thought I was the most knowledgeable man in the world."
"With no more books at hand, I even started reading a Chinese dictionary. I read it so many times that I even found mistakes in it."