Still Mo Yan

Salman Rushdie writes in response to Pankaj Mishra‘s criticism of Rushdie’s criticism of Mo Yan, calling Mishra’s a “satanic view of human society,” to which Mishra responds that it’s easy “to upbraid a Chinese writer from afar.”

Hock G. Tjoa reviews Mo Yan’s Red Sorghum: “Some people love Goya’s paintings, especially those he did of Spanish royalty … But it is difficult to pay heed when there is a Guernica in the same room.”

At BBC Radio “Howard Goldblatt and novelist and film maker Xiaolu Guo discuss the nature of Chinese literature and how much Mo Yan and his fellow contemporary Chinese novelists can teach us about life inside this emerging world force.”

James Kidd at SCMP reviews Sandalwood Death and says, “Like so many of its characters and indeed China itself, the moral of the story is often hard to grasp … Those like Salman Rushdie who dismiss Mo as simply a ‘patsy’ of an authoritarian government would do well to read this complex, and subtle novel that illuminates the darkest corners of power, control and political violence.”

Yunte Huang 黃运特 reviews Pow!: “While the jury is still out as to whether the Chinese writer Mo Yan, who is said to have been toeing the party line, truly deserves the Nobel Prize for Literature, there is little doubt that his novel POW!—with its Rabelaisian carnivalesque language and surrealist narration—rightly belongs among the best of world literature.”

The Complete Review reviews Sandalwood Death, giving it an A and calling it “sensational (in every sense of the word) storytelling.”

The Boston Globe reviews Pow! and Sandalwood Death, praising Mo Yan’s work as “not realistic. It is magical, Rabelasian, satirical, steeped in blood, and obsessed with food in uncomfortable ways,” but they don’t know how to refer to Chinese people by their family name.

Chad Post of Three Percent is excited to read Sandalwood Death and gushes over the trailer.

And Dylan Suher reviews Pow! and Sandalwood Death: “There are those who are blessed with an unerring (and to others, infuriating) faith in their own view of the world … For us—the rest of us—there is literature.”

1 thought on “Still Mo Yan

  1. John Freeman’s article in the Boston Globe was kind of disappointing. He also asserts, ‘Yan has published his first novel to appear in English before it is published in Chinese, “Pow,” a slightly lighter but equally bestial tale.’ The original, 四十一炮, was published in Chinese in 2003.

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