Mo Yan is one of the great novelistic masters of modern
Chinese literature with a long list of ambitious books to his
name. His writing is powerful, visual, and broad, dipping into history, fantasy and absurdity to tell stories of China and its people. Originally counted a part of the "root-seeking" literary movement of the 1980’s it quickly became clear that he had a style and voice that was distinctly his own. Displaying the marks of a global literary heritage – touches of Faulkner, Marquez, and a gusto for experimentation – he is often regarded as the Chinese writer with the most potential to appeal to an international audience, and is perhaps the one most translated.
Magical realism figures largely in Mo Yan’s plots and even his more straightforward fiction has an unearthly air to it, the result of his dense, metaphor-rich language. Over time his writing has shifted to more consciously-crafted "social issue" novels: his latest, Frog, tackles China's one-child policy.