Mo Yan releases 1st body of new works since Nobel win

By Mei Jia | (| Updated : 2020-08-03

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Entitled A Late Bloomer, the new book of Mo Yan is a collection of 12 novellas and short stories published by People's Literature Publishing House. [Photo provided to]

Mo Yan, the 2012 Nobel Prize winner in literature, released on Friday his first collection of new works after the Nobel win, signaling the return of the "storytellers" as Mo called himself and his writing peers at the Stockholm lecture.

Entitled A Late Bloomer, the book is a collection of 12 novellas and short stories published by People's Literature Publishing House.

The stories are staged in Mo's signature Dongbei village at Gaomi, Shandong province, a literary arena Mo created combining imagination and the reality of his own birthplace for many of his previous works.

Only this time, he captures the village in its current time and shape, with some stories focusing on people such as professional internet commentators, who use likes and dislikes to influence public views, as well as individuals uploading video clips to garner internet fame.

"In the eight years after the Nobel, I'm writing, or getting prepared for the writing," Mo says.

His new book is his own answer to some of the doubts about him being stuck in so-called "writer's block" after the honor in 2012.

As veteran writer Su Tong says, to Mo, the Nobel win was a laurel, but also somehow like shackles. It is said that he was too busy and occupied in 2013 to have the time to finish a complete book.

By 2016, he toured 34 cities worldwide, attended 44 lectures and conferences, and signed his name tens of thousands times for fans.


Mo Yan, the 2012 Nobel Prize winner in literature. [Photo provided to]

He has published stories, poems and dramas in several magazines in the past years. As he said once in an event, he has been even more cautious to have his works published and would revise the works more carefully.

All the narrators of the stories in his new book are the first-person "Mo Yan" himself. Mo says it's like his literary agent.

"The first-person narrator is more like my duplicate. He observes and records… and is functioning as story seeker and recorder," Mo says.

So readers may discover in the book a glimpse into how Mo views his home village being turned into a tourist attraction after the Nobel win.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 was awarded to Mo Yan "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary" as on the official website.

Peter Englund, former permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, once said "themes of peasantry, life in the countryside and ordinary people struggling to survive characterize Mo Yan as a skillful narrator".

Debuting in 1981, Mo has published 11 novels, 29 novellas and more stories, prose, poetry and screenplays. His works have been read in more than 50 languages in 200 foreign-language titles.