Tag: Yiyun Li

  • Fact vs Fiction

    Nonfiction isn’t high on my reading list. I’ll read it when I have to do research for my Shanghai Quartet. Or when my sons decide there’s something I need to know. But I prefer fiction that transports me to someplace I don’t know. Like Nigeria during the Biafran War or 1980s India. But now I’ve…

  • Migrant Writing

    migrant ˈmʌɪɡr(ə)nt/ noun a person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions I am a migrant. I moved from the United States to the Netherlands because my husband got the job of his dreams in Amsterdam. My parents are migrants, too, leaving China for America for…

  • Socialism Is Great!

    When I started work on my novel Peace Court, I looked for sources to feed my imagination. I found plenty of history books but almost no fiction that dwelt on Shanghai in the early 1950s. Certainly none that originated from inside China. I wondered why that was the case. This is what I learned. revolutionary…

  • Fear of Failure

    We all fear rejection. To be the last kid picked for the kickball team or the only wallflower at the school dance. We long to be popular, wildly so, or at least to seem that way. This human desire predates likes and followers, obsession with crowd sizes or the invention of money as a measure of…

  • The Language of Blood

    Few authors venture to write in a language that is not their mother tongue.  It’s hard enough to write. Why make it any more difficult by adapting a new vocabulary, grammar and syntax? Some might even call it a betrayal of country, home, blood. the chinese typewriter My grandfather wrote in English. Born and bred…