Mao Dun Literature Prize

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A statue of Mao Dun, at his former residence in Beijing.

Mao Dun Literature Prize (Chinese: 茅盾文学奖; pinyin: Máo Dùn Wénxué Jiǎng) is a prize for novels, established in the will of prominent Chinese writer Mao Dun (for which he personally donated 250,000 RMB) and sponsored by the China Writers Association. Awarded every four years, it is one of the most prestigious literature prizes in China. It was first awarded in 1982.

Selection rules[edit]

According to selection rule, any work, authored by Chinese nationals, published in mainland China, and with over 130,000 characters, is eligible.

The selection committee in the Chinese Writers Association holds the voting poll twice, and the winner must receive over 2/3 of the votes cast. The process is highly selective and each time, the number of winners is between three and five. The prize is awarded every four years, though it was originally awarded every three years.


The award was recently criticized for the 2011 awards,[1] when it was revealed that eight of the top ten on the list were either the chair or vice-chairpersons of prominent provincial writers' associations.[1] An editorial in the China Daily stated "official status cannot and should not be a criterion for literary excellence. That's why people doubt the authenticity of prizes that are awarded to officials for their literary achievements."[1]

To avoid such controversy, novelist Tie Ning decided her works will not enter the awards as long as she is chairwoman of China Writers Association, a position she took in 2006.[2]

Winners and nominees[edit]

Note: English titles may be literal and not book translations.

1982 (1st)
1985 (2nd)
  • Leaden Wings (沉重的翅膀) by Zhang Jie
  • The Wedding Party (钟鼓楼) by Liu Xinwu
  • Yellow River Flowing to East (黄河东流去) by Li Zhun
1991 (3rd)
1997 (4th)
2000 (5th)

Awarded in Mao Dun's hometown, Tongxiang, Zhejiang on November 11, 2000

2005 (6th)
2008 (7th)
Year Final round votes Author Work
58/61 Zhang Wei On the Plateau (你在高原)
56/61 Liu Xinglong Skywalker (天行者)
54/61 Mo Yan Frog
48/61 Bi Feiyu Massage
46/61 Liu Zhenyun A Word Is Worth Ten Thousand Words
15/61 Guan Renshan Mai River (麦河)
9/61 Guo Wenbin Lunar Calendar (农历)
9/61 Deng Yiguang I'm My God (我是我的神)
7/61 Jiang Zilong The Peasant Empire (农民帝国)
4/61 Liu Qingbang A Land Cast in Moonlight (遍地月光)
57/61 Ge Fei Jiangnan Trilogy (江南三部曲)
55/61 Wang Meng Scenery on This Side (这边风景)
54/61 Li Peifu The Book of Life (生命册)
51/61 Jin Yucheng Blossoms (繁华)
40/61 Su Tong Beware of the Siskin (黄雀记)
14/61 Yan Zhen Above Living (活着之上)
13/61 Hong Ke Kalabu Storm (喀拉布风暴)
9/61 Xu Zechen Jerusalem (耶路撒冷)
7/61 Fan Wen My Blood, My Land (吾血吾土)
5/61 Lin Bai Going North (北去来辞)
Chen Yan The Protagonist (主角)
Li Er Professor Ying Wu (应物兄)
Liang Xiaosheng Human World (人世间)
Xu Huaizhong Story of the Towing Wind (牵风记)
Xu Zechen Northward (北上)


  1. ^ a b c "Literary prizes or farcical awards", China Daily, 2011-8-16.
  2. ^ (in Chinese) 第七届茅盾文学奖初选结束 《狼图腾》落选
  3. ^ Ying, Li-hua (2021-11-15). Historical Dictionary of Modern Chinese Literature. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-5381-3006-3.
  4. ^ (in Chinese) 第八届茅盾文学奖第五轮实名投票情况
  5. ^ (in Chinese) 第九届茅盾文学奖第六轮实名投票情况
  6. ^ (in Chinese) [1]

External links[edit]