After winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, Mo Yan will soon have the honor of having tens of millions of Chinese high school students exposed to his work in textbooks.
The Language and Culture Press under the Ministry of Education said on Saturday that it has decided to add one of Mo's novellas, A Transparent Carrot, to textbooks now being complied for high school students who take certain elective Chinese courses.
By its decision, the press, which publishes textbooks and teaching materials for primary and secondary schools, places the new Nobel winner in the same league as Lao She, Lu Xun and a number of Chinese and foreign writers whose works appear in the textbooks read by more than 25 million high school students across the country.
A Transparent Carrot, published in 1985, depicts the lives and inner worlds of ordinary Chinese people in the countryside. The novella, which contains stylistic features that would eventually become characteristic of Mo's writing, quickly gained renown for its sharp descriptions that verge on the fantastical.
Zhang Xiafang, a staff member of the high school educational research group of the Language and Culture Press, said the Nobel Prize certainly helped editors to decide to pick Mo's work for inclusion in the textbook.
"The prize is a really big deal in Chinese literary circles," Zhang was quoted as saying by Beijing Times on Sunday. "This is a historic event. So letting our students know about his work is necessary."
Zhang said the novella will appear in the textbook that will start to be used in the spring. Also in the textbook will be 40 other literary masterpieces by renowned writers from China and abroad.
Wang Xuming, president of the Language and Culture Press, confirmed the news about Mo's work on Sunday.
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