Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

By Yiyun Li

Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780812980158, 235pp.

Publication Date: September 27, 2011


In these spellbinding stories, Yiyun Li, a Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner, a MacArthur Fellow, and one of The New Yorker’s top 20 fiction writers under 40, gives us exquisite stories in which politics and folklore magnificently illuminate the human condition. A professor introduces her middle-aged son to a favorite student, unaware of the student’s true affections. A lifelong bachelor finds kinship with a man wrongly accused of an indiscretion. Six women establish a private investigating agency to battle extramarital affairs in Beijing. Written in lyrical prose and with stunning honesty, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl introduces us to worlds strange and familiar, creating a mesmerizing and vibrant landscape of life.

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About the Author
Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and attended Peking University. She came to the United States in 1996 to study medicine and started writing two years later. After receiving a master's degree in immunology from the University of Iowa, she attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she received an MFA. Li is a recipient of The Paris Review's Plimpton Prize for new writers. Her stories have been published in "The New Yorker," "The Paris Review," "Glimmer Train," and "Prospect," She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their two sons.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Praise For Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

“[Resonates] with emotion . . . Gold Boy, Emerald Girl is an example of the treasure an artist can fashion from the raw materials of ordinary existence.”—Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review

“Yiyun Li is extraordinary, a storyteller of the first order. Each tale in this collection is as wild and beautiful and thorny as a heart.”—Junot Díaz

“A moving and unforgettable  experience . . . Yiyun Li’s characters, like the stories they inhabit, often seem at first glance quiet, modest and unassuming. [But] there is considerable drama hidden beneath the placid surfaces they present to the world.”—The Washington Post
“Yiyun Li is a marvel. . . . Her writing is lyrical, circular and finely etched, with an emotional impact that both satisfies and surprises.”—NPR
“Li has been called ‘China’s Chekhov,’ and it’s easy to see why: With their quiet authority, exquisite control, and illumination of those quicksilver moments on which entire lives pivot, [her] tales lodge in your rib cage long after you’ve finished reading.”—Marie Claire

Monday, Aug 27, 2012

Tell Me More looks at literature from the rising BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Of those countries, China may be considered the most powerful. But for award-winning author Yiyun Li, it's China's personal stories that intrigue her. She discusses her book Gold Boy, Emerald Girl with host Michel Martin. More at

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