Chinese bookstores gear up for Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan's book fans

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Chinese bookstores across Southern California expect a rush of shoppers after a Chinese author won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Novelist Mo Yan is only the second Chinese author to win the prize, and San Gabriel Valley booksellers showcased his books for sale.

“I think that’s a glory to Chinese, because not that many Chinese got nominated and not many can get the Nobel Prize so far. That’s good for the Chinese people," said Terence Tsang, a manager at SUP Bookstore in Monterey Park, as he gathered copies of Mo’s books and set up them on the front counter.

Brian Lee, another manager at the store, says Mo’s novels opened his eyes to aspects of Chinese history he didn’t know, such as the ways villagers were tortured during the late Qing dynasty. The Nobel Prize committee said it honored Mo for merging folktales with "history and the contemporary."

“At first I thought it was a fiction, just a story, but then I found out it actually happened in China before, in history," Lee said.

Both managers say they expect more customers to buy Mo’s books. SUP Bookstore carries several of his titles, but ordering more can be difficult because it can take months to ship the books from China.

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