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October 13, 2012

Nobel winner has ties to OU

NORMAN — Mo Yan might be from a distant country, but the Chinese novelist, essayist, and short story writer recently awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature has some connections to Norman, Oklahoma.

The 57-year-old writer is the second Chinese laureate to win the $1.2 million Nobel Prize and was the inaugural laureate of the University of Oklahoma’s Newman Prize for Chinese Literature.

The Newman Prize, created in 2008 by OU’s Institute for U.S.-China Issues, was awarded to Mo Yan on OU’s Norman campus in March 2009, and included a commemorative medallion, a certificate, and $10,000.

The University of Oklahoma Press will publish an English-language edition of Mo Yan’s 2004 novel Tanxiangxing (Sandalwood Death), translated by Howard Goldblatt, in January 2013 as part of its Chinese Literature Today Book Series. This powerful novel by Mo Yan — one of contemporary China’s most famous and prolific writers — is both a stirring love story and an unsparing critique of political corruption during the final years of the Qing Dynasty, China’s last imperial epoch.

OU’s international literary magazine, World Literature Today, featured Mo Yan in its July/August issue with various reflective essays on the writer and excerpts from Mo Yan’s Wolf and Inside Out, translated by Howard Goldblatt.

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