Chinese Author Mo Yan Wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

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Mo Yan, a Chinese author known for his "hallucinatory realism," has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature. Yan has published more than a dozen novels and other books of short stories, many of which have been translated into English and major other languages, making him one of the most widely read Chinese authors ever. 

The Nobel committee cited Mo for a "hallucinatory realism [that] merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." His most popular work in English is probably Red Sorghum, which was first published in 1987 and also adapted into a feature film. (It was also the first movie by celebrated director Zhang Yimou.) Mo Yan is a pen name that means "don't speak" in Chinese.

He beat out some other celebrated authors who were considered to be on the shortlist, including Haruki Murakami and Philip Roth. London bookmakers had Murakami as the 2-to-1 favorite, but had Yan as a respectable 8-to-1 bet.

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