Yu Jie: Awarding Mo Yan the Nobel Prize Was a “Huge Mistake”

Mo Yan accepted his Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm on December 10.

The 57-year-old novelist often writes stories based on memories of his village childhood, and his work and his political views have triggered wide debate. 

In discussion with ChinaFile Associate Editor Ouyang Bin, literary critic and political activist Yu Jie says it was a mistake to award Mo Yan the prize, both from a political and an literary point of view. Yu says the prize is evidence of the double standard with which the West evaluates Chinese literature. 

Yu left China for self-imposed exile in the United States with his family after publishing a biography of  China’s imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo.




Sheng Keyi on Mo Yan: “Literature Supersedes Politics and Everything Else”

In a recent conversation at the Asia Society, novelist Sheng Keyi said she felt the critism of Mo Yan’s Nobel Prize was unjustified. The controversy, she said, arises from Mo Yan’s politics rather than his literature, “and I think to critique him on...

Out of School


What Mo Yan’s Detractors Get Wrong

Charles Laughlin
When Chinese novelist Mo Yan accepted the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this week, the relationship between literature and politics attracted much attention. The award is often given to writers who forcefully oppose political repression. When...