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NTHU Nominates Wang Mo-jen for the Nobel Prize in Literature
NTHU has recently nominated Wang Mo-jen for this year's Nobel Prize in Literature. In recognition of his outstanding literary contributions, NTHU has compiled the many awards and accolades received by Wang over the years and forwarded them to the Swedish Academy, which presides over the selection process.
 
The Nobel Prize in Literature aims to recognize the best work in the field of literature. Due to their historical value and realistic depictions of the actual situation of the people occupying the lower echelons of society, Wang's novels are deserving of worldwide attention. Wang was born as Wang Antai in 1934, in Huangmei County, Hubei Province. At the end of 1948 he arrived in Taiwan together with retreating Nationalist troops. During his long career he has served as a reporter for the China Daily, the United Daily News, and the Economic Daily, and as an editor and staff writer for the China Times. Since the 1950s Wang has also been continuously engaged in creative writing, mainly in the form of novels. More than 100 of his works have been published in various newspapers, including Some Other Place, The Lower Stratum, Alian Returns to the River Gorge, and The Wingless Bird.
 
Wang's works highlight the psychological turmoil, emotional upheaval, and clash of values triggered by Taiwan’s rapid transformation into an industrial society. Writing in a style that is simple yet incisive, he masterfully adapts the tone of a newspaper article to the format of a novel. His delicate and profound descriptions of diehard characters wrestling with dilemmas and predicaments leave a lasting impression.
 
In 1985, Wang relocated to the United States, where he served as the interview director at the International Daily News in San Francisco, the manager of the China Times, and the editor-in-chief of Overseas Chinese Communications. In 2015, he received an honorary doctorate in literature from NTHU. He now resides in San Francisco with his wife, Chou Anyi.
 
NTHU Press recently re-published The Complete Works of Wang Mo-jen in four volumes, as well as his wife’s new book, Let’s Not See Each Other Any More. On April 27 both books were launched at the opening session of the Wang Mo-jen and Chou Anyi Lecture Series organized by the Institute of Taiwanese literature. Although Wang and Chou couldn’t attend due to poor health, members of the literary circle gathered to discuss the impact of this set of works.
 
NTHU president Hocheng Hong praised Wang’s tenacity in writing about topics he felt were important, even though this was risky business during the martial law era, and said that the tremendous passion with which he wrote fully embodies the spirit of NTHU. President Hocheng also indicated that he admires Wang for the noble ideas reflected in his work, and that NTHU is pleased to have the opportunity to recommend him for the Nobel Prize.
 
During the event, Li Ruituan, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at National Central University pointed out that the enduring merits of Wang's novels are their realistic depictions of the many hardships and travails suffered by the mainlanders who fled to Taiwan during the middle of the last century, especially those consigned to the lower levels of society. Li added that the characters depicted in Wang’s novels also include lots of native Taiwanese, such as farmers, factory workers, miners, and other ordinary people, whose struggles against the contradictions and injustices of a rapidly developing society makes for compelling reading.
 
Li also said that Wang’s use of a historical framework and realistic portrayal of characters is a highly effective way of telling the story of Taiwan, in all its diversity.
 
Professor Lin Ruiming, director of the National Museum of Taiwanese Literature, also attended the book launch. He suggested that before recommending Wang for the Nobel Prize, it would be a good idea to nominate him for the National Award for the Arts.
 
A short bibliography of Wang Mo-jen
 
Wang’s literary career spans 58 years. His first short story, Survivors, was published in 1952, and his most recent novel, The Earth is Dancing, was published in 2010. Wang has donated the entire manuscript of The Earth is Dancing to NTHU.
 
Wang has penned 71 middle-length novels and short stories. His full-length novels include Some Other Place (1972) and The Earth is Dancing (2010). His collections of short stories include Solitary Tears (1958), Can’t Hold Back the Pace (1968), The Bird Without Wings (1974), The Lower Stratum (1976), Zhou Jinmu's Comedy (1979), The Wang Mo-jen Anthology (1979), and Alian Returns to the River Gorge (1984).
 
The book launch at NTHU.

The book launch at NTHU.

Tsinghua University Press recently re-published The Complete Works of Wang Mo-jen.

Tsinghua University Press recently re-published The Complete Works of Wang Mo-jen.

Wang Mo-jen.

Wang Mo-jen.

Wan Mo-jen (center) in 2015 receiving an honorary doctorate in literature from NTHU.

Wan Mo-jen (center) in 2015 receiving an honorary doctorate in literature from NTHU.

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