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Chinese author Mo Yan 'overjoyed' at Nobel prize

Friday, October 12, 2012 - 01:32

Oct. 12 - Writer Mo Yan becomes the first Chinese national to win the Nobel prize for literature for work that combines ''hallucinatory realism'' with folk tales, history and life in China. Sarah Charlton reports.

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China's first national to win the Nobel prize for literature greets the media. Fifty-seven-year-old Mo Yan was awarded the 1.2 million dollar prize for works combining fantasy and realism in China. It came as a surprise to the author, once so destitute he was forced to eat tree bark to survive. SOUNDBITE: CHINESE NOBEL LITERATURE PRIZE WINNER MO YAN SAYING (Mandarin): "I am overjoyed. And I was also surprised when I first heard the news, because there are so many great writers queuing to win the prize around the world. I didn't expect me, as one of the comparatively young writers, to win. So I was very surprised when I first heard the news." In his home village on Friday (October 12) his family welcomed the news of Mo's award. Outside the farmhouse where he was born, his 90-year-old father continued his farm work, apparently unfazed by his internationally-acclaimed son. The author's elder brother said he was proud of Mo's success. SOUNDBITE: 62-YEAR-OLD GUAN MOXIN, OLDER BROTHER OF AUTHOR MO YAN, SAYING (Mandarin): "We couldn't believe that he won at first. We finally believed it after reading the news again and again. We just thought it was not possible. He is just a man from this remote land, and this poor family, he is not from some big city." Mo is best known in the West for "Red Sorghum", which portrayed the hardships of farmers in the early years of communist rule.

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Chinese author Mo Yan 'overjoyed' at Nobel prize

Friday, October 12, 2012 - 01:32