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Mo Yan of China wins Nobel Literature Prize - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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STOCKHOLM, (Reuters) – Chinese writer Mo Yan won the 2012 Nobel prize for literature on Thursday for works which combine “hallucinatory realism” with folk tales, history and contemporary life grounded in his native land.

The prize, awarded by the Swedish Academy, is worth 8 million crowns ($1.2 million).

Mo, who grew up in Gaomi in Shandong province in the northeast of the country and whose parents were farmers, sets his works mainly in China.

“He has such a damn unique way of writing. If you read half a page of Mo Yan you immediately recognize it as him,” said Peter Englund, head of the Academy.

He said Mo had been told of the award. Mo Yan is a pen name which means “Don’t speak”. His real name is Guan Moye.

“He was at home with his dad. He said he was overjoyed and terrified,” Englund told Swedish television.

The award citation said Mo used a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives to create a world which was reminiscent of the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

At the same time, he found a “departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition”, the Academy said.

Mo is best known in the West for “Red Sorghum”, which portrayed the hardships endured by farmers in the early years of communist rule. His titles also include “Big Breasts and Wide Hips” and “The Republic of Wine”.

The literature prize is the fourth of this year’s crop of prizes, which were established in the will of Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and awarded for the first time in 1901.

The writer was one of the favorites to win the award this year, according to British bookmaker Ladbrokes, along with Japanese author Haruki Murakami.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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