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Ex-Nobel winner: Choice of Mo Yan a 'catastrophe'

The Associated Press, Saturday, November 24, 2012, 7:55am (PST)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Herta Mueller, the 2009 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, says the choice to give this year's award to Mo Yan is a "catastrophe" that never should have happened, and accuses the Chinese writer of praising the Asian country's tough censorship laws.

In an interview published in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter on Saturday, the Romanian-born author — whose struggle under Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship has influenced most of her works — says she wanted to cry when she learned of the 2012 laureate choice. She says she feels "it's a catastrophe," and an "incredibly upsetting" choice.

Mo, the first Chinese writer to win the literature award, has been criticized for compromising his artistic and intellectual independence by being a Communist Party member and vice president of the official writers association.

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