2012 Nobel Prize in Literature Awarded to Chinese Author, Mo Yan

Chinese author, Mo Yan, born Guan Moye, best known for his novel Red Sorghum: A Novel of China was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday.

The Nobel committee explained their choice in its citation:

“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 Garcia Marquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition.”

The prize carries with it a purse of $1.2 million.

Mo Yan was born in 1955 and spent his early years as most other Chinese children at the time. In 1976, he joined the People’s Liberation Army and began to study literature and write. His first story was published in a literary journal in 1981, but his real breakthrough came with publication of the novella Touming de hong luobo in 1986.

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