From humble beginnings

Updated: 2012-12-09 14:08

By Mei Jia (China Daily)

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It is always difficult for a Nobel Literature Prize winner to prepare his or her public speeches. For Mo Yan in Stockholm, a sense of humor, storytelling craft and a focus on his hometown are seen as the primary facets of his art.


At his first public showing in Sweden's capital on Thursday, Mo charmed the press by telling a few anecdotes.

He got a lot of laughs by describing his friendship with Swedish linguist and member of the Swedish Academy Goran Malmqvist as "a relationship based on the exchange of cigarettes".

On another occasion, at the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, he said he was initially inclined not to go and avoid any controversy.

But his wife countered that it would be a perfect opportunity to buy a pressure cooker.

"I'll be looked down on as a Shandong man who follow his wife," he said. "But on this occasion, I think it's right."

Special: Mo Yan

 From humble beginnings

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