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Mo Yan and Howard Goldblatt(Photoillustration Ivy Tashlik; original photos AFP/GettyImages and Michael Orbach)

On the anniversary of the founding of the Nobel Prize, Michael Orbach looks at Howard Goldblatt, the translator who brought Nobel laureate Mo Yan’s work to the English-speaking world.

Last month, the celebrated and prolific Chinese author Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and today he delivers his acceptance speech in Oslo. Goldblatt translated almost all of Mo Yan’s novels into English and submitted a letter of nomination to the Nobel Prize Committee. NPR called Goldblatt at 5:00 in the morning with the news. He was delighted that the other Asian titan, Japanese author Haruki Murakami, who was heavily favored for the Nobel, didn’t win, when so many other Asian writers get so little attention in the West.

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