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Yiyun Li Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Vagrants (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kinder than Solitude (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Where Reasons End (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Novellas/Short Stories

The Story of Gilgamesh (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Sheltered Woman (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Dear Friend, From My Life I Write To You In Your Life (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Yiyun Li is a popular Chinese-American novelist, who is famous for writing short stories, literature & fiction, and nonfiction novels in the English language. She has won several distinctions and awards for her novels and short stories. Along with writing novels, she is currently working as the editor of a literary magazine called A Public Space based in Brooklyn. Author Li was born on November 04, 1972, in Beijing, China. She was brought up in her native place in Beijing, where her mother worked as a teacher, while her father was a nuclear physicist. Because of the profession of her father, it became easy for her to move to the United States as it was a common talk for people in such a profession to migrate to America. After serving for one year in the military, Li went on to achieve her B.S. degree in 1996 from the Perking University. Immediately after, she migrated to the US to pursue a master’s degree at The Iowa Univerity. Li earned her MS degree in immunology in 2000. After this, Li joined the Writers’ Workshop and The Nonfiction Writing Program at the Iowa University for an MFA degree in fiction and creative nonfiction.

The essays and stories written by Li have appeared in various literary journals like The Paris Review, Zoetrope, and The New Yorker. A couple of stories from her book, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, were adapted into films in 2007. One of those films, The Princess of Nebraska, had Wayne Wang as the director. In 2012, author Li suffered a nervous breakdown and attempted to commit suicide twice. She was admitted to hospital and was discharged only after recuperating fully. After she left the hospital, Li lost all her interest in writing. She spent the next one year in reading biographies, diaries, journals, and memoirs. In an interview given later, Li said that reading about the lives of other people helped her a lot in dealing with her condition. It provided her a much-required comfort. For some time, Li taught creative fiction at the California University, Davis. She has also served as a creative writing professor at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for Arts. As of today, she resides in Oakland, California with her loving husband and 2 sons.

Soon after Li shifted to the US, her short stories started appearing in major magazines all over America. Many of her earlier stories focussed on the Chinese-American characters and explored the themes of immigration. Her stories have been praised widely for their rich human elements and her own compassion for her creations. In 2007, Li was selected in the list of the best young writers from America by Granta magazine that also included Maile Meloy, Karen Russell, Kevin Brockmeier, Gary Shteyngart, and several others. After the successful release of her short story collection, Li wrote and published the novel called The Vagrants in 2009. This book depicts how the lives of the characters living in a provincial town in China get affected after a horrific public execution. This novel won the California Book Award. Li returned to writing short stories again in 2010 with another collection set in China. Many reviewers have said that even though Li’s dramas are small, they become profound because of their sparseness and neat sentences that form great emotional punches. Li is very grateful to her supporters for liking her stories and appreciating her efforts. She likes to give all the credit of her success to her fans and hopes to keep writing many more exciting stories in the years to come.

A popular book written by author Yiyun Li is entitled ‘Kinder Than Solitude’. It was released by the Random House publishers in 2014. The book features the main characters in the roles of Ruyu, Boyang, and Moran; and its story takes place in China and California. This novel follows a mysterious story that is based on the 3 main characters, whose lives get changed after one of them commits a murder witnessed by the other two. Author Li has tried to give the message through this story that when cornered, even innocent people are forced to commit heartless crimes. The story begins by depicting that during their younger days Boyang, Moran, and Ruyu were involved in an unexpected incident that resulted in the death of a common friend by poisoning. They grow up to live their separate lives away from each other.

Ruyu and Moran move to the United States and Boyang stays in China. However, all three of them are still haunted by the incident. Ruyu assists a local lady in looking after her home and family, but avoids getting involved on a personal level. Moran decides to visit her former husband in Wisconsin, who has always overcome her tough attitude with his kindness. Boyang finds it difficult to deal with her inability to love, and with the result of the deadly incident that happened between the 3 friends 20 years ago. The readers have read and liked this mysterious story very much. They have praised the brilliant writing and the engaging cast of characters. The critics believe that this breathtaking page-turner resonates with provocative observations of life and human nature. They have praised the book’s mesmerizing praise and its remarkable story as a whole.

Another exciting book penned by Li is entitled ‘The Vagrants’. It was also published by Random House in 2009. Author Li has done the setting of this book in a Chinese provincial city called Muddy River. She has mentioned the central characters in the form of Gu Shan, Chairman Mao, Teacher Gu, and a few others. At the book’s start, Gu Shan is introduced as a young woman living in Muddy River. She is a hardcore Chairman Mao follower and a bold spirit. When Gu Shan renounces her communist faith, she gets imprisoned as a political prisoner. The government decides to execute Gu Shan for showing her dissent.

Gu Shan’s mother becomes very devastated with this news. She prepares to ease the journey of her daughter into the other world by following the custom of burning the clothing of Gu Shan. In her devastation, she decides to one more bold decision for Gu Shan’s execution. The father of Gu Shan, Teacher Gu, doesn’t show any feelings of sadness for the upcoming execution of his daughter because he seems to have already killed her for her rebellious decisions. But, as the date nears, he too starts retreating into her memories. None of the parents of Gu Shan imagine that her death is going to have far-reaching and profound effects in Muddy River as well as in other parts of the country.

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