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Yiyun Li

Biography

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li is the author of six works of fiction --- MUST I GO, WHERE REASONS END, KINDER THAN SOLITUDE, A THOUSAND YEARS OF GOOD PRAYERS, THE VAGRANTS and GOLD BOY, EMERALD GIRL --- and the memoir DEAR FRIEND, FROM MY LIFE I WRITE TO YOU IN YOUR LIFE. She is the recipient of many awards, including a PEN/Hemingway Award, a PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and a Windham-Campbell Prize, and was featured in The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 fiction issue. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Yiyun Li

Books by Yiyun Li

by Yiyun Li - Fiction, Women's Fiction

Lilia Liska has shrewdly outlived three husbands, raised five children and seen the arrival of 17 grandchildren. Now she has turned her keen attention to the diary of a long-forgotten man named Roland Bouley, with whom she once had a fleeting affair. Increasingly obsessed with Roland's intimate history, Lilia begins to annotate the diary with her own rather different version of events, revealing the surprising, long-held secrets of her past. She returns inexorably to the memory of her daughter, Lucy. This is a novel about life in all its messy glory, and of a life lived, by the extraordinary Lilia, absolutely on its own terms. Yiyun Li navigates the twin poles of grief and resilience, loss and rebirth, that compass a human heart.

by Yiyun Li - Fiction, Women's Fiction

The narrator of WHERE REASONS END writes, “I had but one delusion, which I held on to with all my willpower: We once gave Nikolai a life of flesh and blood; and I’m doing it over again, this time by words.” Yiyun Li meets life’s deepest sorrows as she imagines a conversation between a mother and child in a timeless world. Composed in the months after she lost a child to suicide, WHERE REASONS END trespasses into the space between life and death as mother and child talk, free from old images and narratives. Deeply moving, these conversations portray the love and complexity of a relationship.

by Yiyun Li - Memoir, Nonfiction

Yiyun Li grew up in China and has spent her adult life as an immigrant in a country not her own. She has been a scientist, an author, a mother, a daughter --- and through it all she has been sustained by a profound connection with the writers and books she loves. From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Søren Kierkegaard and Philip Larkin, DEAR FRIEND is a journey through the deepest themes that bind these writers together.

by Yiyun Li - Fiction

In 1989, three teenage friends are among the residents of a Beijing quadrangle in which all the neighbors know one another. It’s four months after the Tiananmen Square massacre. Twenty-two-year-old Shaoai, one of the residents, was among the Tiananmen protesters. One day, the friends discover that someone has poisoned Shaoai. This mystery is the backdrop of a novel about jealousy and the ways in which the traumas of adolescence can devastate one’s adulthood.