translated-Xingjian, Gao: Nobel Prize


Nobel Prize for Literature 2000

Gao Xingjian was born in China but now lives in France. It was there that his novel La Montagne de L’ame or Soul Mountain was originally published and became a best-seller, going into three editions. Mabel Lee’s English language translation of the novel was first published by HarperCollins Publishers Australia in July 2000 (see below).

Mabel Lee is represented by Australian Literary Management, and ALM is the lead agent for the English language translation of Soul Mountain.

Following links from the  SAMPLES page above, you can read the first chapter of Soul Mountain on this website, as well as Mabel’s perceptive and informative Introduction to the book, and the Swedish Academy’s bibliographical note published on the occasion of the 2000 Nobel Prize.

“On the traveller’s journey to Soul Mountain he visits a nature reserve, listens to toothless old men and women squatting along the river banks, hears atrocious stories which make up the history of the country: women violated by outlaws of the Red Army, women who know how to embroider but who have guns hidden under their clothes, women with flashing eyes hungry for love, young women singing for the festival of the boat dragons, women who threaten their unfaithful lovers with a knife. Portraits of these admirable women punctuate the journey in the form of temptations towards drunkenness, nostalgias and violent sexuality.” (Le Figaro, 11/1/96)

Gao’s second novel One Man’s Bible focuses the political horrors of the twentieth century through the lens of desire and memory. It has received rave reviews in the US.

Gao has also released a beautiful collection of short stories Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather, HarperCollins 2004.

The Case for Literature, a collection of Gao Xingjian’s essays, including his Nobel Laureate address, was released by HarperCollins Australia in 2006 and has been contracted to Yale University Press.

ALM represents the English language translations of Gao’s novels internationally.

Gao Xingjian is also known as a painter with a strong yet subtle style. You can view some of his watercolors on the website of the Art Gallery La Tour des Cardinaux in France, at