[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
China's Mo Yan wins Nobel literature prize
First Chinese national to win highest fiction prize praised for "hallucinatory realism" that mixes past and present.
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2012 21:48

Celebrated author Mo Yan has become the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize for literature.

Announced by the Nobel committee in Sweden on Thursday, Yan was chosen as the 2012 recipient for works with qualities of "hallucinatory realism" that mixes folk tales, history and the contemporary.

"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 said.

Mo Yan whose real name is Guan Moye was born in 1955.

He has published novels, short stories and essays on various topics, and despite his social criticism is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost contemporary authors, the Nobel committee noted.

The backdrops for his various works have included the 1911 revolution that toppled China's last imperial dynasty, Japan's brutal wartime invasion, newly Communist China's failed land-reform policies of the 1950s and the madness of Mao Zedong's 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.

Touching on such eras means flirting with crossing the thin line that divides what is acceptable and what is politically taboo for the Communist Party.

His latest novel, 2009's "Frog", is considered his most daring yet, due to its searing depiction of China's "one child" population control policy and the local officials who ruthlessly implement it with forced abortions and sterilisations.

The newly crowned Nobel laureate has supported official policies on art and culture. These state that art and literature must serve the socialist cause and, by extension, not threaten Communist Party rule.

Last year, the literature prize went to Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer.

The literature prize is the fourth and one of the most watched announcements this Nobel season, following the prizes for medicine, physics and chemistry earlier this week.

As tradition dictates, the laureates will receive their prizes at formal ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of prize creator Alfred Nobel in 1896.

347

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Analysts say China moving back toward 1950s-era public trials aimed at shaming and intimidation.
Record numbers of migrants have made harrowing sea journeys to Italy and Greece this year.
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
Ivory Coast tackles internet fraud scourge, but analysts say criminals continue to outsmart authorities.
In US study, MIT scientists changed the emotions linked to specific memories in mice.
join our mailing list