Why Chinese Writer Xue Mo Outshone the Spanish Guest of Honor?
According to thelatest statistical analysis of media presence for the 2022 Frankfurt Book Fair conducted by Meltwater, Chinese writer Xue Mo ranked No.1 in the list of Top Topics in the International Media, who evenoutshone the Spanish Guest of Honor and became the most talked-about figure duringthisevent. This is considered one of the most impressivepiecesofnewsrelated to the Fair.
Top 10 Topics in the International Media during Frankfurt Book Fair 2022
Cultural scholar and prolificwriter Xue Mo, whose real name is Chen Kaihong, has been nominated three times for theMao Dun Literature Prize, one of the most prestigious literature awards in China. His most remarkablenovels include Desert Rites, Desert Hunters,White Tiger Pass, Liangzhou Ci: A Tale of Jianghu, Wild Fox Ridge, and Curse of Xixia. His substantial publication of works , namelyXue Mo’s Commentary on Dao De Jing (I-IV)and his epic poemSuo Sa Lang(I-VIII), established him as a significant figure in the contemporary Chinese literature as well as nonnegligible presence in the literary andculturalrepresentation of China’s West. Selected Stories by Xue Mo, a collection of wonderful stories themed on the culture, life and spirit of the WesternChina, hasbeen translated into more than30 languagesand distributed worldwide. The wisdom flowing from his fingertips haslit up the hearts of countless readersovertheglobe.
Poster of the Themed Exhibit of Xue Mo’s Worksat Frankfurt Book Fair 2022
Chinese writer Xue Mo has been attending the Fair annually since 2019. So far, he has published approximately 100 works at home and abroad . During the 74th Frankfurt Book Fair, Xue Mo’sclassic novels and literary commentaries were exhibited in the booth of the China International Book Trading Corporation (CIBTC). The themed exhibit caught the eyeballs of global publishing houses and copyright agencies, with the booth populated with visitors and publishers aspiring to get their hands on his works. Inparticular, theshort storyXue Mo and His Lightwas reported orre-postedby more than 2,000 international media.
XueMo’s Book Signing Event in Shanghai, China
Translated from Chinese by the American translator Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin into English, Into the Desert is a story included in Xue Mo’s full-length novel White Tiger Pass. Goldblatt said that both reading and translating Xue Mo’s works are not like any other experience, adding that he hoped his translation might allow English readers to fully appreciate the beauty of China’s West, while Sylvia Li-chun Lin praised highly of Xue Mo’s works for his profound depictions of Western Chinese life. Until now, Goldblatttranslated nine of Xue Mo’s full-length novels and three volumes of the epic poemSuo Sa Lang(I-VIII) in total. During this fair, his translation Into the Desertattracted wide attention, andwon the Outstanding Translation Award issued by China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration.
“I’m very honored to have the opportunity to introduceXue Mo’s novels to English readers and open a window for them to have a glimpse of Chinese literature.” said the British translator Nicky Harman, who has won the 14th Special Book Award of China. Her translation of Xue Mo’s Old Man Xinjiang was posted online by the Guardian newspaper in 2012, entitled as one of China’s top five short novels.
“Xue Mo’s works introduce to the world the contemporary survival of the northwest countryside in China, including physical survival, spiritual survival, the survival of nature and culture as well, which all tested the people’s ability to resist, survive, and laugh on tough experience. His novels not only bring us artistic enjoyment, but also enlightenment and redemption in some extent.” said the Mexican translator Lisa Carducci.
LeiDa, former director ofthe Chinese Writers Association, former president of the Chinese Fiction Society, and a prestigious critic,once said,“In 2016, Dangdang Websitelaunched a nationwide campaign to select the most influential novelists in China. Xue Mo ranked first with the highest number of votes. Why? First, Xue Mois certainly a talented novelist.For example, he spent twelve years to complete his first full-length novel Desert Rites,depicting the extremely difficult life ofthoseChinese peasants in the west. In the following years, he spent another decade to writeDesert Hunters and White Tiger Pass. Later, Xue Mo slowlylaid emphasis on the cultural level, and he accomplished his Soul Trilogy, including Curse of Xixia, Legendary Wolf of Xixia, andThe Holy MonkandtheSpiritWoman. Deeply inspired by the land and people in China’s West, he has produced many literary works varied in themes and styles. With a grand vision, Xue Mo hopestoachievemorethan mass literature. His newly published books likeDouble Emptiness and Beyond: Everything You Need to Know about Mahamudra, hasenjoyed great popularity among Chinese readers. Thisshowshehasnowshiftedtothetopics of culture, religion and spirituality.Nowadays, everyone will encounter spiritual dilemma since we are all locked by materialism. Xue Mo’s works actually provide an effective solution to our problems.Indeed, he is notonlya cultural ambassador butalsoa love deliverer.”
“Xue Mo and Zhang Chengzhi are the most spiritual among the contemporary Chinese-western writers,” saidChen Sihe, a professor from Department of Chinese Language and Literature of Fudan University and a famous literary critic. “Actually, Xue Mo is not interested in how beautifully his novels are written and how fascinating his storiesare narrated. What he really cares about is how people should live their life and where tosettletheirsouls. This big ambition requireshisworkstopursue something transcendent, rather than to achieve any materialistic goal.”
“Xue Mo is greatly underestimated. He isa great writer!” said Chen Xiaoming, a professor from Department of Chinese Language and Literature of Peking University and a prestigious critic. “Great literary works will certainly win the recognition and respect of the world. I believe he will finally become a world-class writer. ”
“Todayin China, there rarely are writers like Xue Mo, who has spiritual pursuit, spiritual insight and spiritual belief. I think his writings, his attitude towards life and his way of living are the manifestations of his spiritual realizationand literary pursuit. After reading his Curse of Xixia, I’m convincedXue Mo is a great writer. Unlike many people, I really like this book. Though Curse of Xixia is difficult to read, I guessthose who like the novel will be fascinated, moved and shocked while reading it. From my point of view, writing this book requires supreme wisdom and strong motivation.” added Professor Chen.
“Xue Mo is naturally talented in telling stories in a fascinating way,” said Yue Wen, a critic from Chinese Writers Association. “He is definitely an expert atgatheringall kinds ofobjects, events, and characters into his novels. Which means he has a strong ability to construct a fictional world, and besides,his vision is grand. In his eyes, western China seems to be isolated frommodern society. Self-contained, it actually hasa holistic and spiritual worldview. I really marvel at his resilient personalityand extraordinary talent.”
PhotoofXue Mo& Howard Goldblatt During the Launch of Desert Rites & Desert Hunters
With moreinternational publication of Xue Mo’s works, an increasing number of overseas publishers, translators and readers will gain a better, deeper understanding ofXue Mo’s novels and commentaries, Chinese literature and culture, and even China. Currently, more than 30 world-famous translators are working on Xue Mo’s books. Over the last decade, the American translator Howard Goldblatt and his wife Sylvia Li-chun Lin have co-translated twelve of Xue Mo’s works, with over four million Chinese characters.
Based on thelatest statistical analysis of media presence conducted by Meltwater, the total online media potentially reached exceeding 1 billionwebsite visitors, including Tencent News, MSN.com, The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, etc. In addition, “Xue Mo” and his works have been covered by more than 2,000 media outlets worldwide.Top search engines show the total number of website links that contain the key words “Xue Mo” reaches more than half a billion.
Top International Media Coverage for the Keyword "Xue Mo”
Left-Online & Right-Print (Millions ofVisitors/Readers)
P.S. Amazon Link of the Newly Translated Novel “Into the Desert”:
Xuemo Culture Network ：