The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to chinese writer Mo Yan "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary". Peter Englund, the academy's permanent secretary, said the academy had contacted Mo before the announcement.
"He said he was overjoyed and scared," Englund said.
His breakthrough came with novel 'Red Sorghum' published in 1987. Set in a small village, like much of his fiction, 'Red Sorghum' is an earthy tale of love and peasant struggles set against the backdrop of the anti-Japanese war. It was turned into a film that won the top prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1988, marked the directing debut of Zhang Yimou and boosted Mo's popularity.
Mo writes of visceral pleasures and existential quandaries and tends to create vivid, mouthy characters. While his early work stuck to a straightforward narrative structure enlivened by vivid descriptions and raunchy humor, Mo has become more experimental, toying with different narrators and embracing a freewheeling style often described as 'Chinese magical realism.'
As with the other Nobel Prizes, the prize is worth 8 million kronor, or about $1.2 million.