Mo Yan may be an unfamiliar name to American readers, but China's freshly minted Nobel laureate in literature is revered in his home country, which banned some of his early work. The 57-year-old author is perhaps best known for his 1987 novel Red Sorghum, a factory-set drama that inspired an acclaimed film starring Gong Li. Sorghum is one of five of Mo's novels that Arcade Publishing is reissuing in light of his big win. Howard Goldblatt, Mo's longtime English translator, says the writer has managed to challenge authority without running afoul of Chinese leadership. Even so, Goldblatt says, ''his novels appeal to people who are interested in questioning those in power.''