Author Mo Yan

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Interestingly enough when I wrote the title for this post - simple as it is - I did a spoonerism of sorts and wrote Yo Man - just thought that added piece might make this more interesting for the post as I really don't know much about this author - but if you do - or at least heard of him before this - you may want to check him out:

Controversial, admired, and enormously popular both inside and outside his native country, famed Chinese author Mo Yan will make his second U.S. appearance at this year’s convention of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA), to be held in San Francisco 27-30 December.

Three MLA convention sessions examining the work of Mo Yan will be free and open to the public. Mo Yan will appear and take audience questions at the first of these:

Mo Yan and the Reemergence of Literary Independence in Post-Mao China, to be held on Sunday, 28 December, from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. in Yerba Buena Salon 8, San Francisco Marriott.

Two other sessions, also free and open to the public, feature scholarly analysis of Mo Yan’s work. These are:

Translating Mo Yan, to be held on Sunday, 28 December, from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. in Yerba Buena Salon 1-2, San Francisco Marriott

Comedy, Carnival, and Consanguinity in the Fiction of Mo Yan, to be held on Monday, 29 December, from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. in Yerba Buena Salon 1-2, San Francisco Marriott

Mo Yan has chronicled twentieth- and twenty-first-century China in dozens of stories and novels noted for both their humor and their poignancy. Among the most popular of these is Red Sorghum, Big Breasts and Wide Hips, The Republic of Wine, Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh, The Garlic Ballads, and Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out. Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out was written on traditional Chinese paper using only ink and a writing brush. Several of his novels have also been adapted for the big screen.

Mo Yan’s combination of social commentary and satire takes his memorable characters through major events in Chinese history, such as the birth of the Chinese republic, the Chinese civil war, the Japanese occupation, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the liberalization of the Chinese economy -- with all of their ramifications for Chinese society. While his novels chronicle life in China with a keen insider’s eye, his popularity transcends national boundaries, and his works have been translated into more than a dozen languages. He will be speaking in Mandarin, with an English interpreter.

“The Modern Language Association is delighted to host Mo Yan at our San Francisco convention,” said MLA Executive Director Rosemary Feal. “Interest in Chinese language and literature is growing rapidly in the United States, according to the most recent MLA study on college language enrollment, and Mo Yan’s works are among the most widely read and highly respected of this new generation of Chinese writers.”

About the Modern Language Association

The Modern Language Association of America and its 30,000 members in 100 countries work to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. Founded in 1883, the MLA provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. The MLA sustains one of the finest publication programs in the humanities, producing about twelve new books a year and a variety of publications for language and literature professionals and for the general public. The MLA’s weekly radio program, What’s the Word?, can be heard on more than 160 radio stations across the United States and overseas. More information on MLA programs is available at
Word to my format.