Poetry News

Chinese Writer Mo Yan Wins Nobel Prize for Literature

By Harriet Staff

Congratulations to anyone who placed their bets on Chinese writer Mo Yan! The Red Sorghum author, who came in at 8/1 odds, beat writers Haruki Murakami (2/1), William Trevor (7/1), Alice Munro (8/1), Peter Nadas (8/1), and Bob Dylan (10/1) for this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. From The New York Times:

In his novels and short stories, Mr. Mo paints sprawling, intricate portraits of Chinese rural life, often using flights of fancy — animal narrators, the underworld, elements of fairy tales — that evoke the techniques of South American magical realists. His work has been widely translated and is readily available in the West, but he is perhaps best known abroad for “Red Sorghum” (1987; published in English in 1993) which takes on issues like the Japanese occupation, bandit culture and the harsh lives of rural Chinese, and which in 1987 was made into a movie directed by Zhang Yimou.

“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, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition,” the Swedish Academy said the citation that accompanied the award.

Sorry poets. Maybe next year? Read the full article here.

Originally Published: October 11th, 2012