Author(s): Yiyun Li
The new novel from Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants and the Guardian First Book Award-winning A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. When Moran, Ruyu, and Boyang were young, they were involved in a mysterious 'accident' in which a young woman was poisoned. Now grown up, the three friends are separated by this incident, and by time and distance. Boyang stayed in China, while Moran and Ruyu emigrated to the United States. All three remain haunted by what really happened. A breathtaking page-turner, Kinder Than Solitude resonates with provocative observations about human nature and the virtues of loyalty. In mesmerizing prose, and with profound philosophical insight, Yiyun Li unfolds this remarkable story, even as she explores the impact of personality and the past on the shape of a person's present and future.
Praise for The Vagrants: 'Yiyun Li has written a book that is as important politically as it is artistically. "The Vagrants" is an enormous achievement.' Ann Patchett 'A starkly moving portrayal of China in the wake of the Cultural Revolution, this book weaves together the stories of a vivid group of characters all struggling to find a home in their own country. Yiyun Li writes with a quiet, steady force, at once stoic and heartbreaking.' Peter Ho Davies 'A masterpiece ... "The Vagrants" can put you in mind of Tolstoy or Chekhov...Its mass rallies wouldn't be out of place in Margaret Atwood's dystopia, "The Handmaid's Tale"...Most of all, though, its shut-in, shabby world of party tyranny, nonstop surveillance and loudspeakers spouting propaganda into the smoky air resembles Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" - with a grim twist: Orwell's novel envisaged a nightmare that could happen; Li's describes one that did.' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'With its controlled understatement and scrupulous and unsparing lucidity, "The Vagrants" is a work of great moral poise and dignity. As a chronicle of political betrayal under a modern dictatorship, "The Vagrants" is a minor classic; I have not read such a compelling work in years.' Ian Thomson, Independent 'This is a book of immense power and it will leave you reeling.' New Statesman 'This is a book of loss and pain and fear that manages to include such unexpected tenderness and grace notes that, just as one can bear it no longer, one cannot put it down. This is not an easy read, only a necessary and deeply moving one.' Amy Bloom
Yiyun Li is the author of 'A Thousand Years of Good Prayers', 'The Vagrants', and 'Gold Boy, Emerald Girl'. She is recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Whiting Writers' Award, and the 'Guardian' First Book Award. 'Granta' named her one of the best American novelists under thirty-five, and the 'New Yorker' named her one of twenty U.S. writers under forty to watch. She teaches writing at the University of California, Davis, and lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and their two sons.