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China writes its way onto the world stage

By Mei Jia  (China Daily)

09:46, January 31, 2013

Mo Yan is in the spotlight during a recording in Beijing on Jan 13 of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles' Spring Festival celebration. (China Daily/ Xiao Yi)

Key Words:Mo Yan; literature; Nobel Prize

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Mo Yan's Nobel Prize win has prompted a surge of interest in Chinese writing.

Chinese writers have rarely enjoyed the spotlight as much as they did in 2012.

Mo Yan, who was born and lives in China, brought attention to Chinese writing when he won the Nobel Prize in literature.

The Mo Yan effect is spreading - creating opportunities for Chinese literature to reach a global audience.

Critics expect more translators will be needed to render Chinese works into various languages. Meanwhile, Chinese officials and publishing professionals are making efforts to present more interesting reading to the international market.

The year 2013 is set to witness more excitement for Chinese literature.

Post-Nobel craze

Mo Yan has become a celebrity, appearing not only in literary journals, but also on arts and entertainment pages. The Nobel effect has made him a widely loved idol. Mo is "proving the capability of Chinese writers, and encouraging people to have faith in Chinese writing", Chinese Writers' Association chairwoman Tie Ning said.

After the announcement of Mo's Nobel win in October, up to 920,000 people a day searched for information about Mo, according to search engine Baidu. Before the news, there was an average of 2,000 daily searches.

Mo's works became the year's bestsellers. According to surveys by the Open Book, a book sales monitor in China, monthly sales of his work multiplied 199 times compared with before his win. Frog, the story of the effects of China's family planning policy, is among the most popular.

The Open Book said that in 2012 Mo contributed 0.47 percent to the Chinese book market, while in 2011 he only made up 0.01 percent.

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