Nobel Literature Prize was handed to Mo Yan, one of China's leading
writers of the past half-century, who was honoured for a body of work
that the Swedish Academy said mixes folk tales, history and the
Mo has walked a tightrope during his stay in
Stockholm, with some pundits supporting his own claims that he is
"independent" and others casting him as a Beijing stooge.
2012 Nobel laureates in medicine, literature, economics, physics and
chemistry received their prizes from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf at a
gala ceremony in Stockholm on Monday.
The formal event, held as
tradition dictates on the anniversary of the death of prize founder
Alfred Nobel in 1896, took place at Stockholm's Concert Hall which was
decked out in pink, yellow and orange flowers for the occasion.
The laureates and guests were clad in white tie and tails for men and evening gowns for women.
Medicine Prize was presented to Shinya Yamanaka of Japan and John
Gurdon of Britain for work in cell programming, a frontier that has
nourished dreams of replacement tissue for people crippled by disease.
Haroche of France and David Wineland of the United States were
meanwhile awarded the Physics Prize for pioneering optical experiments
in quantum physics that could one day open the way to revolutionary
Two Americans, Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka,
picked up the chemistry prize for identifying a class of cell receptor,
yielding vital insights into how the body works at the molecular level.
US scholars Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley collected the economics prize
for their work on how to best match supply and demand that has potential
applications in organ donation, education and on the Internet.
Nobel Prize consists of a gold medal, a diploma, and eight million
kronor ($1.2 million, 925,000 euros), to be shared if there is more than
The laureates were also to be honoured at a
formal dinner banquet later in the evening attended by the royal family
and some 1,300 specially-invited guests.
Earlier Monday in Oslo,
the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union for turning
Europe "from a continent of war to a continent of peace," a contested
choice of laureate as the bloc faces its worst crisis in six decades.