Mohammed Elshijh, an Egyptian doctoral candidate at Beijing Language and Cultural University, chose to study Chinese literature after receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1999.
As countries with long, rich histories, China and Egypt have much in common, Elshijh said, adding that Mo Yan, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature, is also popular in his motherland.
“I have read Mo’s novels such as ‘Red Sorghum’ and ‘Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out.’ His books are full of the smells of the countryside and reflect the relationship between the land and farmers,” Elshijh said.
On Oct. 11, Mo, 57, became the first Chinese national to win the top literary prize. He will attend the formal award ceremony on Dec. 10.
The Swedish Academy described Mo’s works as having combined “hallucinatory realism” with Chinese folk tales, history and contemporary life.