A glance at the Nobel Prize for literature

Associated Press
FILE - Chinese author Mo Yan is seen during a news conference at the Frankfurt book fair in Frankfurt, central Germany, in this Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 file photo. China's Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature it was announced Thursday Oct. 12, 2012.  (AP Photo/Daniel Roland, File)
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FILE - Chinese author Mo Yan is seen during a news conference at the Frankfurt book fair in Frankfurt, central Germany, in this Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 file photo. China's Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature it was announced Thursday Oct. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Roland, File)

WHO WON?

Chinese author Mo Yan, 57.

FOR WHAT?

The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners, praised Mo's "hallucinatory realism," saying it "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary."

NOTABLE WORKS

"Red Sorghum"; "The Garlic Ballads"; "Big Breasts & Wide Hips"; "Frogs."

LITERARY IMPACT

Mo writes of visceral pleasures and existential quandaries, creating vivid characters. His early work stuck to a straightforward narrative structure enlivened by vivid descriptions and raunchy humor. In recent years, Mo has become more experimental, toying with different narrators and embracing a freewheeling style often described as "Chinese magical realism."

WHAT DID HE SAY?

"China has a lot of great writers. I know that in my heart ... I am very fortunate to have won this prize but I am quite clear. I know that the most important thing for an author is the work they produce ... I'll continue on the path I've been taking, feet on the ground, describing people's lives, describing people's emotions, writing from the standpoint of the ordinary people."

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