Mo Yan's Nobel win brings village a change of plot

Mo Yan's Nobel win brings village a change of plot

Chinese people had never paid more attention to the annual Nobel literature award - which on Thursday went to Canadian writer Alice Munro - than they did last year when Mo Yan became China's first winner of the prize.

One year on, and the ripple effect has not subsided. Tourists continue to flock to Mo's home village in Gaomi, Shangdong province, which has been transformed since the author was catapulted to top place in the literary world.

Visiting the village is to walk into the world he created in Red Sorghum Clan, one of his best-known novels, adapted for the award-winning film Red Sorghum by acclaimed director Zhang Yimou in 1987.

Some 210 hectares of red sorghum is ready for harvesting, recalling this scene Mo depicted in the novel:

"In the deep autumn of the eighth month under a high, magnificently clear sky, the land is covered by sorghum that forms a glittering sea of blood. When the sun comes out, the surface of the sea shimmers, and heaven and Earth are painted with extraordinarily rich, extraordinarily majestic colors."

Locals have planted the sorghum for the ongoing shooting of the novel's TV adaptation starring actress Zhou Xun, in similar fashion to 1987 when Zhang's film was shot. But while the sorghum fields disappeared after the film was made, this time they may remain.

"We have signed long-term contracts to sell sorghum to wine producers," said Zhang Xinfu, head of Xianjia village, administered by the Jiaohe River Shugang Logistics Area.

Mo Yan's hometown is in the area.

"Dozens of wine producers came to discuss the sorghum business after Mo Yan won the prize," said Zhang, who set up the Gaomi Dongbei Township Red Sorghum Cooperative early this year.

Zhang said the wine producers promised to pay a satisfactory price for the sorghum.

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