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Gold boy, emerald girl - Yiyun Li

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Gold boy, emerald girl
Yiyun Li
Paperback / softback
4th Estate
UK Publication Date

The second collection of stories from Yiyun Li, author of the Guardian First Book Award-winning 'A Thousand Years of Good Prayers' and 'The Vagrants'.

The stories in this collection, like the stories in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, are mostly set in China. The country portrayed here is the China of the 21st century, where economic development has led to new situations unknown to previous decades: residents in a shabby apartment building witnessing in awe the real estate boom; a local entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist sheltering women in trouble in her mansion; a group of retired women discovering fame late in their lives as private investigators specializing in extramarital affairs; a young woman setting up a blog to publicize the alleged affair of her father.

Underneath the veneer of prosperity and opportunity, however, lie the struggles of characters trying to reorient themselves in the unfamiliar landscapes of modern China: a widower, reminiscing about his wife, confronts a young unmarried woman purchasing condoms in a pharmacy; a new wife makes a plea to have a baby with her husband who was to be executed only to discover that she has become an instant celebrity; a middle-aged couple in America, who, upon losing their only daughter, return to their hometown in China to hire a young woman as a surrogate mother. These characters' fates are affected as much by the historical moments in which they reside as by the choices they make.

Yiyun Li's new collection of stories is a report from the front-line of a changing world, and confirms Li to be a writer not to be missed.

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Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing, China, and came to the Unites States in 1996. She is the recipient of several prizes for her writing, including the Guardian First Book Award for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, and an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Li's stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and elsewhere, and her first novel, The Vagrants, was published in 2009. She lives in California with her husband and their two sons.

"Li is extraordinary . . . a storyteller of the first order . . . each tale in this collection is as wild and beautiful and thorny as a heart. . . Li inhabits the lives of her characters with such force and compassion that one one cannot help but marvel at her remarkable talents." Junot Daz

"This is work that lasts. These sly women, punished men, these worried, worrying, surprising characters are held aloft and illuminated in Yiyun Li's strong and magical prose." Amy Bloom

"In the most dismal circumstances and the most unlikely subjects: the old, the forgotten, the bookish, the unattractive; Yiyun Li has the rare ability to conjure hope. She writes with precision and delicacy about the Chinese diaspora and about the new China and in doing so, she writes about us all." Mona Simpson

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China - Social conditions - Fiction.
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