April 19, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Mo Yan’s creative space

1 min read

Literary prizes, wrote Kingsley Amis, are “all right if you win them.” China’s political establishment takes a far less relaxed view of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Since the country reintegrated into the global community after the death of Mao, its government has long craved a literary Nobel for a Chinese citizen living, working and thriving in China as proof that the People’s Republic has arrived as a modern world power. China’s longstanding Nobel envy has turned the prize into a symbol of collective achievement, rather than of individual creativity.

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