Susan Midalia's Review
Yu Yin Li’s novels, short stories and a memoir about the suicide of her teenage son, reveal her skill and subtlety as a story teller. This new short story collection includes tales about cultural difference and alienation; the loneliness within marriage; grief at the loss of a child; the burden of guilt; and the role played by chance in the making, or unmaking, of a life. A memorable collection of stories, narrated with Li’s characteristic refusal of sentimentality, her restrained sense of pathos, and unexpected moments of humour.
A dazzling new collection of short stories, spanning 15 years of writing, from Yiyun Li, the prize-winning author of The Book of Goose and Where Reasons End
A dazzling new collection of short stories written over a decade, spanning loss, alienation, aging and the strangeness of contemporary life – from Yiyun Li, the prize-winning author of The Book of Goose
A grieving mother makes a spreadsheet of everyone she’s lost. A professor develops a troubled intimacy with her hairdresser. And every year, a restless woman receives an email from a strange man twice her age and several states away. In Yiyun Li’s stories, people strive for an ordinary existence until doing so becomes unsustainable, until the surface cracks and grand mysterious forces – death, violence, estrangement – come to light. And even everyday life is laden with meaning, studded with indelible details: a filched jar of honey, a mound of wounded ants, a photograph kept hidden for many years, until it must be seen.
Li is a breathtakingly original writer, an alchemist of opposites: tender and unsentimental, metaphysical and blunt, funny and horrifying, omniscient and yet acutely aware of just how much we cannot know. Beloved for her novels and memoirs, she returns here to her earliest form, gathering short stories and a remarkable novella never before published in the UK. Taken together, the stories in Wednesday's Child articulate the true cost of living with all Li’s trademark unnerving beauty and searing wisdom.