Mo Yan has become the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in the 111-year history of the prize. Mo Yan’s work was praised by the Swedish Academy for merging “folk tales, history and the contemporary” with “hallucinatory realism”.
Mo Yan is the pen name of Guan Moye. “Mo yan” means ‘don’t speak’ in Chinese. Mo Yan began writing when he was in the Chinese Army and his first novel was Falling Rain on a Spring Night, published in 1981.
His body of work includes :
- Falling Rain on a Spring Night (1981)
- Red Sorghum (1987)
- The Garlic Ballads (1988)
- The Republic of Wine: a novel (1992)
- Big Breasts & Wide Hips (1996)
- Sandalwood Death: a novel (2004)
- Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out (2006)
- Change (2010)
While being the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Yo Man is not the first Chinese person to win it. Gao Xingjian who won in 2000 but is now a French citizen.
And as an aside, I heard on the ABC this morning that a study has shown there’s a close link between chocolate consumption and Nobel laureates. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the more chocolate people in a country eat, the more Nobel prize winners the country produces per capita. Read more here.
Well, I’m prepared to take a kilo or two for the team!