Mo Yan Wins The Nobel Prize in Literature

Mo Yan Wins The Nobel Prize in Literature
© J. Kolfhaus, Gymn. Marientha, 

Chinese writer Mo Yan (M) has been named the 109th Nobel Laureate in Literature.  The Nobel Prize committee describes Mo Yan’s as a writer” who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary”.
Mo Yan was born into a farming family in 1955 in rural China’s Shandong province. He first became a serious writer in 1981, while serving in the People’s Liberation Army. His birth name is Guan Moye. Mo Yan is his pen name, which in translation means “Don’t Speak”, which was advice from his parent’s during his youth and the time of great political tensions within China.
Mo Yan is much admired for his ability to challenge the powers that be without angering or offending them too greatly.  He is a great source of domestic pride for many Chinese, especially among the writing community. Of course he is not without his critics, who claim him as being too cozy with the communist government.
We have several of his titles available in Chinese as well as a few English translations, including Big Breasts and Wide Hips: a novel. (M)
Mo Yan Wins The Nobel Prize in Literature “Chinese writer Yan is both revered and reviled for his blistering takes on modern China’ s political landscape. (His acclaimed 1987 novel, Red Sorghum, was adapted into a major motion picture).This latest controversial epic, spanning the country’s blood-splattered twentieth century, is set in fictional Northeast Gaomi County and narrated by fair-haired Jintong, the ninth child (and first son) of an indomitable woman known only as Mother. (Jintong’s siblings all have different fathers, none of them Mother’s impotent blacksmith husband.) Fathered by the town’s Swedish pastor, spoiled Jintong takes full advantage of his role as the family’s only male; at the age of seven, he still suckles at his mother’s breast. In Yan’s world, men are cowardly while women are admired for their courage and curves. His images run the gamut, from brutal renderings of war to a bizarre transformation of human to bird. The novel is, above all, a paean to the power of the female sex, but its voluptuous title scarcely reflects its tone. This is a haunting, daunting read that seldom loosens its gloomy grip” – Booklist
Congratulations to Mo Yan!


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