Chinese author Mo Yan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Mo Yan when literally translated means ‘don’t speak’. He is one of China’s most highly regarded authors and he has written nine novels and many short stories.

‘The Swedish Academy praised his work which “with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary”.

The 57-year-old is the first Chinese resident to win the prize. Chinese-born Gao Xingjian was honoured in 2000, but is a French citizen.’

I was delighted to hear that a Chinese author had won the prize. I wrote my dissertation on Chinese literature and feel that it is underrepresented in Western culture. If you are interested in Chinese literature I would recommend the work of Mian Mian, Jung Chang and Ai Weiwei. Although Mo has written novels that are critical of the Chinese government he has not been as vocal as some of his peers with some critics accusing him of being ‘too close to the Communist Party’.

“A writer should express criticism and indignation at the dark side of society and the ugliness of human nature,” the author said in a speech at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2009.

“Some may want to shout on the street, but we should tolerate those who hide in their rooms and use literature to voice their opinions.”‘

Quotes via the BBC