Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life (Kobo eBook)
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