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Mo Yan’s new book debuts
Beijing, Oct 17 (IANS) A new book by Nobel literature prize winner Mo Yan hit the Chinese market Wednesday amid "Mo-mania" that has been sweeping the country since his success last week.
Only 100 copies of "Our Jing Ke", a collection of three plays, were on sale in the Genuine & Profound bookstore at a launch organised by the Beijing Genuine & Profound Culture Development Company, reported Xinhua.
"The first issue had a print run of 200,000 copies," said Tang Juan, the vice head of the company’s marketing department. "But we only got the first batch last night and the others are still at the printers."
She said the new book, which has been taking pre-orders on leading online bookstores, is expected to be sold in other parts of the country after Friday.
The release of the new book came less than a week after Mo was announced winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature Oct 11.
"Due to Mo Yan’s success, we decided to publish the book ahead of schedule," said Hong Xue, editor of the book.
The book, published by the Beijing-based New World Press, consists of three plays — "Our Jing Ke", "Farewell to My Concubine" and "Wife of the Boiler Worker".
Two of them are based on tales of Chinese history and the third is about ill-fated "zhiqing", urban youths who were sent to the countryside for "re-education" by peasants during China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-76).
"Our Jing Ke" re-tells a story about Jing Ke, an assassin famous for his failed attempt to kill a king, who later moved on to become China’s first emperor more than 2,000 years ago.
But the story is told from a new perspective in the book, where Jing’s assassination attempt is reinterpreted into a result of his desire for instant fame, rather than a result of chivalry and altruism.
"Farewell to My Concubine" is about the melancholy love story between Xiang Yu, a Chinese warlord during the second century BC and his concubine who killed herself.
"The Wife of the Boiler Worker" tells of a story about a female pianist who was re-educated in the countryside and married a boiler worker.