The 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Mo Yan.
The Chinese author, whose real name is Guan Moye, was presented with the award on 11 October by Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy.
The author’s books include the novella Touming de hong luobo; the novel Hong gaoliang jiazu, which was published in English as Red Sorghum (Arrow); Tiantang suantai zhi ge, published in English as The Garlic Ballads (Methuen); Jiuguo, published in English as The Republic of Wine (Skyhorse); Fengru feitun, published in English as Big Breasts and Wide Hips (Methuen); and Shengsi pilao, published in English as Life and Death are Wearing Me Out (W W Norton).
His novel Tanxiangxing, published in 2004, will be published in English as Sandalwood Death (University of Oklahoma Press) next year. His most recent novel Wa, published in 2009 ‘illuminates the consequences of China's imposition of a single-child policy’.
‘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 García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition,’ said the Nobel Prize statement. ‘In addition to his novels, Mo Yan has published many short stories and essays on various topics, and despite his social criticism is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost contemporary authors.’
The Nobel Prize for Literature carries a cash prize of eight million krona (approximately A$1.16 million). Last year’s winner was Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer.
A spokesperson for Random House told Bookseller+Publisher that the ebook of Red Sorghum is currently available and the paperback, which it published in July, will be back in stock within a week or two.
Mo Yan previously visited Australia in 2011 as a guest of the Melbourne Writers Festival.