Yiyun Li was born in China in 1972. Her father was a physicist, her mother a school teacher, and she herself was something of a math whiz as a kid. She studied immunology at university in Beijing and always planned to go the United States to further her education. When she was twenty-three, she fulfilled that dream and went to graduate school in Iowa. Her first year there, she was lonely.
A version of this conversation was broadcast on Writers & Company on CBC Radio One, produced by Sandra Rabinovitch. Kei Miller is an original. I first heard of him when his 2014 poetry collection, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, won England’s prestigious Forward Prize for Poetry.
"Grief is a difficult word. Especially now, we use 'grief' all the time. It's not a word that really catches what it means, how it feels. 'Where Reasons End' is a book that argues with that word." #YiyunLi on her new heartbreaking novel. #WandCpic.twitter.com/dxz8MqzVam
#RachelCusk on #YiyunLi memoir "Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life" about her suicidal depression + engagement with other writers: "troubling, thrilling, mesmerizing book ... requires close attention for its revelations to be absorbed." Sunday #WandC
"It's odd to say the book and the conversation was a joy to write. But the loss is there, it's a permanent wound... Death is never the end of the story. Death is always the beginning of the story." #YiyunLi on the suicide of her 16 yr old son in "Where Reasons End". Sunday #WandC