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Chinese Nobel winner: Politics a great challenge

The Associated Press, Friday, December 7, 2012, 10:29am (PST)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — This year's Nobel Literature Prize laureate says his greatest challenge as a writer has been to reflect the social realities of his native China without allowing politics to suppress his work.

In his much-awaited Nobel lecture in Stockholm on Friday, Mo Yan mostly steered clear of politics but described the constraints he has experienced when being consumed by politics.

Mo, the first Chinese national to win the literature award, said heated emotions "allow politics to suppress literature."

The 57-year-old writer, who has been criticized for membership in the Communist Party and for being vice president of the party-backed writers' association, gave his work "The Garlic Ballads" as an example. The novel, depicting a peasant uprising and corruption, was banned in China.

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