Doctor of Letters
Professor Guan Moye is a renowned contemporary Chinese writer known worldwide as Mo Yan, Professor at Beijing Normal University, Director of its International Writing Centre, and the first Chinese national to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Born in Shandong Province, Mo Yan joined the army in 1976, where he assumed a teaching role and also started writing. He holds an MA degree in Literature from the Lu Xun Literary Institute at Beijing Normal University. After his literary talent was discovered, he left the army in 1997 to work at the Procuratorial Daily and then at the Chinese National Academy of Arts.
Mo Yan describes himself as a modern-day storyteller who can free his mind and draw inspiration from the traditions of classical Chinese literature as well as Western and Latin American writing. His surreal narratives and unique style of “hallucinatory realism” reveal a complex interweaving of history, reality and literary imagination.
The release of Red Sorghum in 1987 launched his career as a nationally recognised novelist, and also became internationally celebrated in its award-winning cinematic adaptation. Mo Yan’s major works include novels, such as The Garlic Ballads (1988), The Republic of Wine (1993), Big Breasts and Wide Hips (1995), Sandalwood Death (2001), Pow (2003), Life and Death are Wearing Me Out (2006), Frog (2009), A Late Bloomer (2020), as well as plays, such as Farewell My Concubine (1997) and Our Jingke (2004). There have been over 200 editions of his works published in more than fifty languages.
Mo Yan is the recipient of numerous awards including the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, Italy’s Nonino Prize, the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize of Japan, the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature, the Mao Dun Literature Prize, Korea’s Manhae Literary Prize and Algerian National Order of Merit Medal. He is an Honorary Fellow of Regent’s Park College of the University of Oxford, a Fellow of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts and an Honorary Member of the Modern Language Association of America.
Mo Yan has also been conferred honorary doctorates by many local and international universities, including Fo Guang University of Taiwan, Aix-Marseille University of France, Sofia University of Bulgaria, the City University of New York, the University of Macau, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and Diego Portales University.
In recognition of his contributions to academia and the world, the University has resolved to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa.