Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life
‘Profoundly engaging in depth, with remarkable subtlety and rare, limpid beauty. A must-read’ – Mary Gaitskill
A luminous memoir about reading, writing and how to find meaning in a life
Written over two years while the author battled depression, Dear Friend is a painful and yet richly affirming examination of what makes life worth living. Interweaving personal memoir with a wide-ranging celebration of writers and books, this is a journey of recovery through literature.
From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Kierkegaard and Larkin, Yiyun Li traces the themes of time and transformation, presence and absence. Drawing on personal experiences from her difficult childhood in China, she constructs a beautiful, interior exploration of selfhood and what is required to choose life.
Li celebrates the authors who make reading a joyous pursuit, and the details that've made her own life worth living. * Huffington Post * A work of arresting revelations...A writer of meticulous reasoning, probing sensitivity, candor, and poise, Li parses mental states with psychological and philosophical precision in a beautifully measured and structured style born of both her scientific and literary backgrounds. * Booklist * Yiyun has the talent, the vision and the respect for life's insoluble mysteries... [she] is the real deal -- Michel Faber Exceptional... one of our major novelists -- Salman Rushdie Extraordinary. A storyteller of the first order -- Junot Diaz A remarkable account of literary life [from] an important and gifted writer... Her new book is a meditation on the fact that literature itself lives and gives life -- Marilynne Robinson Beautiful and profound... This book is a terribly beautiful gift to the reader -- Neel Mukherjee * New Statesman * Publisher's description. A luminous memoir from the award-winning author of The Vagrants and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Startlingly original and shining with quiet wisdom, this is the record of a life lived with books and a richly affirming examination of what makes any life worth living. * Penguin * Novelistic scenes, limpid prose, subtly moving emotion... Personal reminiscences [and] literary meditations... Li explores ruptures in time, the difficulty of writing autobiographical fiction, the pleasures of melodrama * Publisher's Weekly * Quietly forceful, unrelenting... She unfolds an argument with the self, suspicious of the very concept , but not, ultimately, refuse its possibilities -- Eula Biss An intimate memoir of darkest despair... A potent journey of depression that effectively testifies to unbearable pain and the consolation of literature * Kirkus * Weaving sharp literary criticism with a perceptive narrative about her life as an immigrant in America * The Millions * Literature, the clash of public and private, human nature itself-these subjects and more are explored with remarkable subtlety and rare, limpid mental beauty. A must-read for anyone trying to stay sane in a world that might be perceived as insane -- Mary Gaitskill, author of The Mare Reveals, gloriously, the companionship, intimacy, and insight that can come from obsession with the written word * LA Review of Books *
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