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 3 and 5. The prize is awarded every four years, though it was originally awarded every three years.

Criticism[edit]

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
  • Bell and Drum Tower (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)
  • Qin Melody (秦腔) by Jia Pingwa
  • The Right Bank of Er'guna River (额尔古纳河右岸) by Chi Zijian
  • In the Dark (暗算) by Mai Jia
  • The Scenery of the Lake and the Mountain (湖光山色) by Zhou Daxin
Year Final round votes Author Work
8th
2011[3]
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 (推拿)
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)
9th
2015[4]
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)

References[edit]

External links[edit]