Fourth Estate, £7.99, 221pp £7.59 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, By Yiyun Li
Friday 04 November 2011
Yiyun Li emigrated from Beijing to study medicine in the US, but instead graduated from the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her memorable debut collection of stories, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, was followed by an award-winning novel, The Vagrants.
In this second collection, she follows characters, young and old, as they try to re-orient themselves in a post-revolutionary world. Attuned to every nuance of sadness, Li writes delicately about death, brutality and leave-taking.
In "Prison" a couple try to get over their grief for a dead daughter by hiring a surrogate mother, while in the title story an older couple try to decide whether a union will "make one another less sad". Modern China is portrayed as a series of "dormant" towns steeped in "big tragedies and small losses".
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 2 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 3 Scientists sequence oldest human DNA from fossilised leg bone found in Spain
- 4 Cannabis can cause man boobs, US surgeon claims
- 5 Joanna Lumley’s garden bridge over the Thames gets £30m seal of approval from Government