- Mo Yan (left) arrives at the Beijing Capital International Airport on his way to Sweden to accept the Nobel literature prize. Photo: Xinhua
- China's Nobel literature winner, Mo Yan, headed to Sweden yesterday to collect his award, but he walks a delicate line with the authorities and is expected to avoid mentioning his jailed fellow laureate Liu Xiaobo. Mo Yan has been hailed as a national hero since the announcement in October that he had won the prize, and his works have rocketed up China's bestseller lists. But he has also had to contend with criticism from activists who brand him a stooge for the ruling Communist Party.State media reported the writer was leaving yesterday for Stockholm, where he will give his Nobel lecture on Friday before the prize ceremony on Monday.
But the announcement prompted Chinese readers to snap up his books. He earned royalties of 21.5 million yuan (HK$26.5 million) this year, the second-highest of any Chinese writer, according to a survey.
Gaomi, his hometown, announced 670 million yuan in projects to honour him, including a "Mo Yan Culture Experience Zone" and the planting of swathes of red sorghum, in honour of his best-known work, a novella named after the plant.
State-run media were effusive, hailing him as China's first Nobel literature prize winner, even though the Chinese-born Gao Xingjian, whose works were banned on the mainland and who later took French nationality, won the 2000 literature award.
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