Mo Yan: The First Chinese Citizen Ever to Win the Nobel Prize

More

The novelist has been recognized for his genre-bending style and social critique.

RTR390MK-615.jpgChina Daily/Reuters

Mo Yan, the Chinese novelist born to a family of farmers, has become the first of his countrymen to win the Nobel prize for literature:

The author is best known among Western audiences for his 1987 book Red Sorghum, which blends together five storylines set in Mo Yan's hometown in northeastern China's Shandong province. The novel was adapted for an internationally-acclaimed film that incidentally marked the directorial debut of Zhang Yimou -- the producer responsible for 2008's highly choreographed Summer Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing.

"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 García Márquez," the Nobel Foundation's citation reads.

Mo Yan is a pen name that translates to "don't speak." His real name is Guan Moye.

Although Mo is the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel, other authors of Chinese descent have also been awarded the prize. In 2000, Nobel officials gave the award to Gao Xingjian, a writer from China's Jiangxi province who was by then a French citizen.

Here's a list of Mo Yan's other work.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Brian Fung is the technology writer at National Journal. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and has written for Foreign Policy and The Washington Post.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What's the Number One Thing We Could Do to Improve City Life?

A group of journalists, professors, and non-profit leaders predict the future of livable, walkable cities


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In