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Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing, China, and came to the United States in 1996. Her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, and California Book Award for first fiction. Her novel, The Vagrants, won the California Book Award for fiction, and was shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Award. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, her second collection, was a finalist for the Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her latest novel, Kinder Than Solitude, was published to critical acclaim. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Li’s numerous awards include the Whiting Award, and the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; and she has received fellowships from the Lannan and MacArthur foundations. She was selected by Granta as one of the “21 Best Young American Novelists under 35,” and was named by the New Yorker as one of the top twenty writers under forty. She is a contributing editor to the Brooklyn-based literary magazine, A Public Space.

She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their two sons, and teaches at University of California, Davis.

Selected Bibliography

Kinder Than Solitude (2014)
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl (2010)
The Vagrants (2009)
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (2006)

Online Resources

Yiyun Li’s website
Kinder Than Solitude reviewed in NYT
Kinder Than Solitude reviewed in the Washington Post
MacArthur Fellow Interview