The Straits Times
Published on Feb 28, 2013

China Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan 'guilty' but defiant


BEIJING (AFP) - Nobel literature laureate Mo Yan has hit back at critics who accused him of being too close to China's government, saying in a newspaper interview he does not write on behalf of the ruling Communist party.

Yan scooped the Nobel in October for what judges called his "hallucinatory realism" and has won praise from literary critics, but is also fiercely attacked by Chinese dissidents who brand him a Communist stooge.

"I have emphasised repeatedly that I am writing on behalf of the people, not the party," Mo Yan said in an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, adding: "I detest corrupt officials." Mo Yan hit out at exiled-Chinese dissident author Liao Yiwu, who called him a "state poet".

"I know (Liao) envies me for this award and I understand this. But his criticism is unjustified," Mo Yan said.