The Chinese government’s quest to win international prizes has been an admitted fact for years. From Olympic gold medals to honors in scientific achievement, money, time and resources have been poured into such goals for decades. Twelve years ago, Chinese-born writer Gao Xingjian won the Nobel Prize for literature, but as a French national not on the best of terms with his government, the award wasn’t recognized by China. Mo Yan’s victory won’t have any such hurdles.

The author, best known for his work Red Sorghum, was announced this morning as the 2012 Nobel Prize winner for literature. In a brash and ridiculous rewriting of history, the Chinese government released a statement today congratulating him for being the first Chinese citizen to take home the honor. According to The Los Angeles Times, Mo Yan has occasionally had a contentious relationship with the powers that be in China, but in recent years, it has dramatically improved. He’s attended state functions and altered his writing some to work around the country’s censorship guidelines.

Many Chinese citizens living abroad have already released statements bashing the Nobel committee’s decision, but books with a political slant aren’t necessarily better. Words can be beautiful whether written by someone who is openly critical of communism or not.

Pop Blend’s congratulations go out to Mo Yan. Here’s to hoping he celebrates with all the joy in the world tonight.

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