August 6, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Mo Yan’s Red Sorghum village home may never be the same again

1 min read
The father of Chinese writer Mo Yan

Guan Yifan, 90, the father of Chinese Nobel laureate writer Mo Yan, in front of Mo’s childhood home at Ping’an village, Gaomi, Shandong province Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

On a brisk day in mid-October, Nobel prizewinner for literature Mo Yan‘s 62-year-old brother, Guan Moxin, stands outside their childhood home in Ping’an village, Shandong coastal province, posing for photographs with a steady stream of brightly dressed tourists. He smiles as a teenage girl in a pink sweater puts her hand on his shoulder and flashes a peace sign at the camera.

“Everybody wants to understand what Mo Yan’s life used to be like, when we were young,” says Guan, leading a small crowd inside the abandoned house to a dusty room where Mo, now 57, was married. A broken antique radio – a wedding gift, Guan says – sits on a crumbling concrete bed, untouched for decades.

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