The Mo Yan Poll

My empty, questioning stare when I heard that this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature would go to the Chinese author Mo Yan showed me three things: that I don’t read enough books, that I don’t read enough literary supplements of newspapers and most importantly that my reading is still too much focused on the two sides of the North Atlantic.

I want to rectify this omission. Because many of Mo Yan’s books had already been translated into English (and German) even before winning the Nobel Prize, no obstacle and no excuse can abate my determination.

Counting on my esteemed readers’ experience, knowledge and literary taste, I kindly ask for your opinion: Which of Mo Yan’s novels should I read first to get an impression of his work?

Thank you very much for your vote and for your comments! Of course I will review the book here on my blog once I will have read it.

Too bad that my blog is censored in China, so that some of the most competent commentators won’t be able to participate.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Books, China and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Mo Yan Poll

  1. I wonder if “Big Breasts & Wide Hips” gets chosen so often merely for its title and the associations that come with it.

  2. MO Yan has said that if readers ever read only one book of his, they should go for 丰乳肥臀 -- (fēng rǔ féi tún), Big Breasts & Wide Hips..

    I wrote a post about MO Yan on the eve of his winning yesterday.

    Hope you enjoy MO Yan’s stories.

    • Andreas Moser says:

      What a perfect timing for your article!

    • Janet Williams says:

      I’m so chuffed to have written it last night. I anticipated that he would win. Seriously!!!

  3. Pingback: Easily Confused, # 10 | The Happy Hermit

  4. To be precise, it’s not just your blog being blocked in China, WordPress is generally blocked in China. My Chinese readers have to 翻墙 (literally, climb over the wall), i.e., breach the gigantic Firewall in China, to access WordPress.

    • Andreas Moser says:

      Ahhh. So I don’t need to take it personally at least. :-) Thanks for enlightening me!

  5. I must admit to total ignorance of Mo Yan’s works. Though I do love the title “Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out”. I can definitely sympathise with the former, and am getting FAR too close to the latter!

    • Alice says:

      I chose that one based on the title the morning after his win was announced and it was a great read! I will probably pick up “Big Breasts and Wide Hips” at some point in the future; I read a bit in a bookstore browse the other day and it also seemed very good.

      I’m thrilled with this year’s Nobel; it’s the first time I haven’t heard of an author in a few years, and I’ve been happy to make his acquaintance–he’s definitely worth reading.

  6. Pingback: MO Yan(莫言) wants you to read this novel, “Life and Death are Wearing Me Out” | Janet's Notebook

  7. JoV says:

    Phew, so it’s wordpress not your blog which is blocked. I haven’t got a clue who is Mo Yan either. Coming from someone who run a book review blog for 4 years. I better look up the Big breasts, Wide hips book!

  8. Good morning Andreas, I can’t make any proposals as far as Mo Yan’s books are concerned because I havn’t ready any, so far. I agree, however, with you that we generally stick to much to the kind of literature we know or to our better known countries and I have very much the desire to go beyond that barrier, too. I very much liked and was touched by YIYUN LI’s books such as “A THOUSAND YEARS OF GOOD PRAYERS” or “THE VAGRANTS”. Bye Martina

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