Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for Literature!
He's my favorite author and he's had Nobel hype for years. It's so exciting that he finally won!
The first book of his that I read was Red Sorghum. It was assigned for a Chinese Literature in Translation course. I was only auditing the class and could only read part of it before I had to turn my attention elsewhere. But, I liked it so much that I went back and finished it after the semester was over.
The movie Red Sorghum dramatises the first part of the novel. The opening scenes of Happy Times are based on one of the short stories in Shifu, You'll Do Anything For a Laugh.
The Garlic Ballads is my favorite book by him.
I prefer is earlier stuff to his later stuff. The shorter works are tighter and more accessible. His later works seem like a Nobel bid, but are still very good. Overall his writing is marked by a visceral lushness that I'm not used to seeing from Chinese prose, which is usually sparse in its descriptions. Many of his works are touched by a magic realism that brings to mind Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
AND! When writing up this blog post I see that many of his works are available for FREE for Amazon Prime members through the lending library and many are priced at bargain prices to own the Kindle version. Take advantage while you can, especially of the three titles I mentioned in this post.
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