Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

by Yiyun Li

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Overview

In her first memoir, award-winning novelist Yiyun Li offers a journey of recovery through literature: a letter from a writer to like-minded readers.

“A meditation on the fact that literature itself lives and gives life.”—Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead

“What a long way it is from one life to another, yet why write if not for that distance?”

Startlingly original and shining with quiet wisdom, this is a luminous account of a life lived with books. Written over two years while the author battled suicidal depression, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life is a painful and yet richly affirming examination of what makes life worth living.

Yiyun Li grew up in China and has spent her adult life as an immigrant in a country not her own. She has been a scientist, an author, a mother, a daughter—and through it all she has been sustained by a profound connection with the writers and books she loves. From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Søren Kierkegaard and Philip Larkin, Dear Friend is a journey through the deepest themes that bind these writers together.

Interweaving personal experiences with a wide-ranging homage to her most cherished literary influences, Yiyun Li confronts the two most essential questions of her identity: Why write? And why live?

Praise for Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

“Li has stared in the face of much that is beautiful and ugly and treacherous and illuminating—and from her experience she has produced a nourishing exploration of the will to live willfully.”The Washington Post

“Li’s transformation into a writer . . . is nothing short of astonishing.’”The New York Times Book Review

“An arrestingly lucid, intellectually vital series of contemplations on art, identity, and depression.”—The Boston Globe

“Li is an exemplary storyteller and this account of her journey back to equilibrium, assisted by her closest companion, literature, is as powerful as any of her award-winning fiction, with the dark fixture of her Beijing past at its centre.”Financial Times

“Every writer is a reader first, and Dear Friend is Li’s haunted, luminous love letter to the words that shaped her. . . . Her own prose is both lovely and opaque, fitfully illuminating a radiant landscape of the personal and profound.”Entertainment Weekly

“Yiyun Li’s prose is lean and intense, and her ideas about books and writing are wholly original.”San Francisco Chronicle

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399589102
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/20/2018
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 207,176
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Yiyun Li is the author of four works of fiction—Kinder Than Solitude, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, The Vagrants, and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl—and the memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. A native of Beijing and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the recipient of many awards, including a PEN/Hemingway Award and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and was named by The New Yorker as one of the “20 Under 40” fiction writers to watch. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and their two sons.

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Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Yiyun Li.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life 3

Amongst People 22

Memory Is a Melodrama from Which No One Is Exempt 51

Two Lives 82

Amongst Characters 106

To Speak Is to Blunder but I Venture 137

Either/Or: A Chorus of Miscellany 153

Reading William Trevor 171

Afterword: On Being a Flat Character, and Inventing Alternatives 195

A Partial List of Books 203

Acknowledgments 207

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Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry but this book makes very little sense to me. I think it might make sense to someone who has read all the authors she is quoting in lengthy paragraphs. It seems the book was written as a way to process her own private thoughts, opinions and emotions but not with much regard to the reader. Its hard to follow and the writing has momentary flow but switches to simple prose and a flat voice regularly throughout the book. I was hoping to connect to her struggles with depression but found nothing. The author does not elaborate much on this topic and if she does it's not clear, hence the feeling that I might have missed something.