MO Yan (莫言)

MO Yan
  • Asia
  • Eastern Asia
  • China
Chinese

MO Yan / 莫言 (fiction writer, journalist; China)  is one of China's foremost novelists, best known for his 1987 novel Hong Gaoliang Jiazu ( Red Sorghum ). The internationally acclaimed film adaptation, directed by Zhang Yimou, won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival, becoming one of China's most popular films and bringing Chinese cinema into the international mainstream. After a childhood of extreme poverty during the Cultural Revolution, Mo worked in a factory until he joined the army in 1976. He began writing in 1981 and graduated from the Army Academy of Art and Literature in 1986, subsequently receiving a M.A. in literature from Beijing Normal University. In the late 1990s, he left the army to become a professional writer. He has written dozens of short stories and ten or more novels, translated widely. In addition to Red Sorghum , released by Viking in 1993, titles available in English include: Explosions and Other Stories (1991), The Garlic Ballads (1995), and The Republic of Wine: A Novel (2000). Mo Yan is participating courtesy of the University of Iowa; he will be attending the IWP 9/3–9/18.

Happening Now

  • A fall harvest of book reviews coming in: of The Others by Sarah BLAU (translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir); of LO Yi-Chin’s Farewell, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy TIANG; of Véronique TADJO’s In the Company of Men

  • A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.

  • Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong  胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…

  • We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.

  • The poetic documentary Songs Still Sung: Voices from the Tsunami Shores, written and co-produced by Takako ARAI and creatively subtitled into English by a class of UI students of Japanese, will be screened at the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, on-line 10/7-14/2021.

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