10/11/2012, 00.00
Send to a friend

Writer Mo Yan wins Nobel prize for literature

The prolific writer, author of Red Sorghum, has been compared to William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez for weaving fantasy and reality, history and society, in his tales. The environment, corruption and the loss of spiritual values in contemporary China play a central role in his stories. In many of them, he has also had to negotiate his way around government censorship.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Chinese author Mo Yan on Thursday won this year's Nobel Prize for literature, the Swedish Academy announced. "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 Swedish Academy added.

Yan, whose real name is Guan Moye, was born in 1955 in Shandong province. Even though his pen name means "Don't speak,' he is one of the most prolific contemporary writers, with scores of novels, short stories and essays to his name.

His most famous novel is Red Sorghum, which was made into a movie by Zhang Yimou, with a script written by Mo Yan himself. Other works include Big Breasts & Wide Hips, Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out, and Frog.

His stories deal with men and women who, in coping with their problems and situations, try to go beyond ancestral traditions and the craziness of contemporary life. His style draws on everyday language.

He does not openly challenge China's Communist system, but he does describe the problems ordinary Chinese have to cope with, like pollution, corruption and the loss of spiritual values under the assaults of materialism.

In an interview, Mo Yan acknowledged that he has to get around government censorship, to say things in a way that bypasses censors, but this constant dance is an additional spur for his creativity.


Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Nobel Prize for Literature to Kazuo Ishiguro, a bit Japanese, a bit British
06/10/2017 13:10
Nobel laureate Mo Yan calls for Liu Xiaobo's release
Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to Japan’s Honjo whose research is fuelled by curiosity
02/10/2018 16:52
Nobel Prize to Bob Dylan meets with approval and joy in Asia
14/10/2016 19:37
Nobel Peace Prize goes to Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”