Chinese writer known as Mo Yan, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday. His novel, “Red Sorghum”, which was both appreciated and contested by readers, illustrates the hardships that farmers had to endure in the early years of the communist era, according to Reuters.
Mo Yan, on his real name, Guan Moye, was named the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. The Chinese writer captured the jury’s attention through his work “Red Sorghum” in which he portrays the sacrifices that farmers had to make in order to survive at the beginning of the communist era. The book was also turned into a film by Oscar-nominated director, Zhang Yimou.
Despite the success that Mo Yan’s book has had among international leaders, there are voices in China claiming that the decision to award him the Nobel prize was incorrect. Critics think Mo Yan has connections with the Communist Party even though some of his works, including “Big Breasts and Wide Hips”, as well as “The Republic of Wine” were banned in China.
Mo Yan was primarily influenced by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, D.H. Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway, but he thinks hunger and loneliness have given him the inspiration to write his critically-acclaimed novels. The Chinese author uses a lot of fantasy and satire in his book, even though some readers have described his writing style as “provocative and vulgar”. During a public speech at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Mo Yan expressed his belief that writers should use different forms of expression to criticize the dark side of society and the ugliness of human nature.
Chinese readers, however, have accused Mo of contributing to the creation of one of Mao’s speeches in which the writers who did not integrate their work with the Communist revolution should be punished. Prominent rights lawyer Teng Biao stated before the award that Mo Yan supports the undemocratic regime and it would be unfair for him to receive the prize.
Mo is currently in Shandong and he refuses to release media interviews because he is too tired. The author was not available for phone conversations either claiming that he needs silence in order to focus on his future works.