A native of China’s Shandong province, Mo Yan contributes his winning of the Prize to his love of the earth that has raised him and his concern for the lives of farmers that live there. Journalists from different media outlets are visiting his hometown Gao Mi, to find the earliest inspiration for his writing.
Mo Yan wrote an essay collection titled "My Hometown Gao Mi" which is about his childhood, his dreams, and his footsteps in his hometown. Outside the building of the novelist’s
Du Qinlan, Mo Yan's wife, said, "He is very unadorned. He is very warm hearted to his family, his relatives and friends. He has a good temper, very easy-going."
A two hour ride from the port city of Qingdao is Dongbei village in the city of Gao Mi, where Mo Yan spent his first twenty years of his life. Now, the city is being filled with journalist from all of the country’s major presses. Mo Yan’s older brother, and his 90 year old father still live here.
Guan Yifan, Mo Yan's father, said, "I feel very happy for him. No need to congratulate him. Happy is enough."
Most journalists are interested in the novelist’s childhood. His brother says Mo Yan used to be the youngest student of his elementary school and has been a fan of literature since childhood.
Guan Moxin, Mo Yan's brother, said, "He liked to read novels very much. Like the four literary classics of ancient China, and modern novels like "Tracks in the Snowy Forest", and "Song of Youth". We scrambled for books sometimes. I once hid a book on top of the pig’s pen for fear that he would find it and take it away. He eventually found it but bumped into a beehive and was stung by bees."
Mo Yan’s old residence is still well kept. The radio and furniture used by the novelist when he got married are still kept in the house.
Those who are familiar with the writer’s novels will find some connections between the narrations and these scenes of the village.
At a Literature Museum in Gao Mi, Mo Yan has kept his low-key attitude towards his winning the Nobel Prize.
Mo Yan said, "My winning of the prize might ignite more people’s interest in literature. That’s a good thing. But I think all the buzz, and press concerns, will soon go away. All will go forward following the nature of life."