This content is not available in your region

China's Mo Yan wins Nobel prize for literature

China's Mo Yan wins Nobel prize for literature
Text size Aa Aa

Chinese writer Mo Yan has won this year’s Nobel prize for Literature.

The man himself, who’s pen name means “Don’t speak” is said to have been overjoyed and terrified.

The announcement was made by Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Peter Englund in Stockholm.

The committee said that the author mixed fantasy and reality to create a world reminiscent of the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Sentiments shared by some students at Beijing Normal University: “His works cover a wide range of topics,” said Zhao Ming. “We can share many of the author’s and our own inner thoughts and feelings about history through reading his books.”

But critics say given his pen name means silence, his reward sends out the wrong message to Chinese people.

“‘Don’t speak’ is a very real portrayal of the current political situation in China,” says blogger and journalist Wen Yunchao. “People in China will get the message that you can become an accomplice of an authoritarian government. As long as you have made enough contributions to literature you will have the chance to win the most prestigious international award. Morally and politically, this will bring devastating consequences,” he added.

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”.