Mo Yan | South China Morning Post
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  • Apr 19, 2015
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Mo Yan

Mo Yan, born on February 17, 1955, is a renowned Chinese author. He is the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012. Mo is best known in the West for two of his novels which were the basis of the film Red Sorghum. He was appointed a deputy chairman of the quasi-official Chinese Writers' Association in November 2011. 

China Digest, October 31, 2012


Kickback hotlines

Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 4:28am

Sensible tactic to preserve creative space

Much has been made by Mo Yan's critics about his pen name, which means silence or say nothing. Photo: AP

Should every mainland artist or intellectual who has achieved prominence shout at the top of their lungs against the central authorities and become, inevitably thereafter, dissidents?

Some foreign critics and mainland dissidents seem to think so. And that seems to be the gist of their criticisms against Mo Yan since he won this year's Nobel Prize for literature.

22 Oct 2012 - 2:52am 3 comments

Writers should be true to their convictions

A writer can be politically incorrect or completely apolitical, but he must be honest. Photo: AP

I still remember that afternoon more than 20 years ago when I first read Red Sorghum. I was bowled over. I hadn't yet come across the works of William Faulkner or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and as I read Red Sorghum then, I felt a rush of elation that a story about "my grandfather" and "my grandmother" could be told so boldly and without restraint.

22 Oct 2012 - 2:52am 1 comment

A good week for … (October 21, 2012)

Mo Yan

Mo Yan

21 Oct 2012 - 1:39am

Separating fact from fiction about Mo Yan

Mo Yan

A widely circulated Sina Weibo post, sardonically linking Nobel laureate Mo Yan to two more controversial Chinese celebrities, perhaps best illustrated the public's conflicted feelings about the media frenzy surrounding the writer's award.

21 Oct 2012 - 1:39am 4 comments

Mo Yan's hometown, Gaomi, plans to cash in on writer's Nobel Prize

A banner celebrating Mo Yan's prize hangs on a wall in Gaomi

Count authorities in Mo Yan's hometown Gaomi among those looking to cash in on the writer's sudden fame since winning the Nobel Prize for literature last week.

Officials in the backwater Shandong city have announced plans to spend about 670 million yuan (HK$ 825 million) on Mo Yan-themed projects designed to lure tourists.

19 Oct 2012 - 5:19am

‘Mo Yan Culture Experience Zone’ planned for Nobel laureate's hometown

Writer Mo Yan speaks at a press conference last week in his hometown Gaomi, which will invest US$107 million in projects to draw tourists. Photo: EPA

A Chinese city hopes to cash in on the success of its most famous resident, Nobel Literature Prize winner Mo Yan, by investing millions in a tourist zone dedicated to the writer, Chinese media said on Thursday.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Mo's works in line with Nobel vision

Critics question whether Mo Yan's Communist Party membership qualifies him for the Nobel Prize. Photo: Xinhua

As expected, Beijing celebrated Mo Yan's award of the Nobel Prize for literature as a national triumph. Also unsurprisingly, though, critics and activists have questioned whether Mo's Communist Party membership qualifies him for the honour and whether the Swedish Academy sent the right message to the Chinese regime by honouring him.

18 Oct 2012 - 2:29am

Nobel Prize brings with it great pressure, laureate Mo Yan says

Mo Yan

Mo Yan says the demands and expectations of being the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize for literature is dampening the joy he feels about receiving the award.

16 Oct 2012 - 10:28am

Beware the golf ball racket at the Philippines airport

Persona grata

Sympathetic though we may be to the Philippines in the face of the Hong Kong government's absurd and surely racist attitude to the country, the Philippines can be its tourism industry's own worst enemy.

16 Oct 2012 - 4:03am

Who said it?

Mo Yan.

Should we applaud the relentless efficiency of our civil service, or decry its time-wasting stupidity?

Businessman Markus Shaw, after the government spent HK$25 writing to ask him to rectify an error in election expenses of less than HK$1


I'm now under great pressure and have a lot to worry about. So how can I be happy?

16 Oct 2012 - 4:06am

China needs more than a Nobel literature winner to win fans

Without a two-way stream of culture between mainland China and the world, there will not be a Chinese Psy. Photo: EPA

China has scaled another height with author Mo Yan's award of the Nobel Prize for literature. It's only a matter of time before it overtakes the US as the world's No 1 economy. There is no doubting the nation's rising political clout, while the commissioning of its first aircraft carrier shows a determination for military greatness.

17 Oct 2012 - 7:17am 3 comments

Mo Yan the censorship fighter

Mo Yan (L) and Kenzaburo Oe in Mo's hometown, Gaomi, Shandong province.

Don't forget there's more to Mo Yan than what propaganda officials and free speech activists would each have you see, say those who know Mo well.

15 Oct 2012 - 8:16am

China writers praise Mo Yan for dissident release call

A protester tapes images of Mo Yan (left) and Liu Xiaobo to a gate during a demonstration in front of the Chinese liaison offices in Hong Kong on Saturday. Photo: AFP

An independent Chinese writer’s group has welcomed calls by Nobel prizewinner Mo Yan for the early release of jailed fellow laureate Liu Xiaobo, but questioned his stance on freedom of speech.

Some dissidents accused Mo Yan of being a communist stooge after he won the literature award on Thursday.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

'Wishful thinking' to link Mo Yan's Nobel prize with China's rise

Mo Yan

The awarding of the 2012 Nobel Prize for literature to Mo Yan is a great recognition of Chinese literary talent, but for the government to say it symbolises China's "soft power" and rising influence is wishful thinking, critics say.

14 Oct 2012 - 9:43am 4 comments