Brilliant and original, 'A Thousand Years of Good Prayers' introduces a remarkable first collection of stories about China from an author set to become a major literary talent.
In this extraordinary first collection, Yiyun Li brings us a modern China facing up to a complex history of repression and guilt.
In 'Immortality', winner of the Paris Review prize, a young man bears a striking resemblance to the dictator, and so finds a strange kind of calling.
In 'Extra', first published in the New Yorker, a Chinese woman, alone in middle age, befriends a young boy who has become an outcast in a remote country school.
In their friendship, we see how love can begin to overcome the strictures that dominate their lives.
In turn horrifying and breathtakingly lyrical, Yiyun Li, a new and talented young Chinese writer, confronts the silence that dominated the history of her country, and illuminates how mythology, politics, history and culture intersect with personality.
She leaves us with an enduring vision of a country undergoing tremendous change.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 254 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 06/11/2006
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780007196630
- EPUB from £6.49
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Review by xuebi
In <i>A Thousand Years of Good Prayers</i>, Yiyun Li shows the reader ten short vignettes about life in modern China and in Chinese-American communities. There are common themes including the role of family in an ever-changing society and how people come to terms with the aftermath of Mao. <br/><br/>Li writes using spare and controlled language which helps emphasise the often bleak conditions her characters inhabit. Li does not spare the reader's feelings and portrays the post-Mao era as full of confusion and often despair. <br/><br/>These stories show a promising start to Li's career and show a different face to the ever-changing China one hears and sees so much of.