Page 3 Profile: Mo Yan, Chinese author
Friday 12 October 2012
Is that his real name?
Actually, no. It's a pseudonym meaning "don't speak" in Chinese. His actual name is Guan Moye, but he came up with the pen name as a reminder that he should sometimes hold his tongue. The writer admits he can sometimes be a little too frank.
What's his writing like?
Pretty good. So good in fact, that Mo, 57, was yesterday awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature, beating off favourites Haruki Murakami and William Trevor. His style has been described as "hallucinatory realism", because he "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary" within his work. His most famous novel, Red Sorghum, published in China in 1987, is a brutal tale of war, rape and torture set at the end of the Cultural Revolution. He's pretty fast too; his most recent novel, Life and Death are Wearing Me Out, was completed in just six weeks.
How's the news going down in China?
The Communist Party's official paper, the People's Daily has been proudly trumpeting Mo's success, announcing him as the first Chinese winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Technically, Gao Xingjian won it in 2000, but at the time he had emigrated to France, much to the distaste of the Chinese government. However highly outspoken artist Ai Weiwei is less than impressed. He has criticised Mo for not showing solidarity with those being persecuted in China for their political views, saying the author has "no involvement with the contemporary struggle".
What does Mo Yan himself think about winning?
Apparently he was "overjoyed and scared" to hear the news. He hasn't said much since. Perhaps winning the world's most prestigious literary prize has finally left him lost for words.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Alfred Hitchcock's unseen Holocaust documentary to be screened
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners