The Vagrants

Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

Yiyun Li has written a remarkable account of her literary life, begun in her youth in China with the books that first engaged her in the great conversations of literature. In her own emergence as an important and gifted writer in English she has brought a new voice to that great world. She has also been, in the deepest sense, sustained by it. Her new book is a meditation on the fact that literature itself lives and gives life.
- Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead

 

In this exquisite, intimate, lyrical memoir, Yiyun Li reveals her life in flashes appended to an arrestingly coherent philosophy of time, self, and place. Uniting the discipline of a scientist together with the empathy of a novelist, she scatters profound and often difficult truths through these generous, wise, challenging pages.
- Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree

 

Literature, national identity versus the individual self, the clash of public and private, the mysterious nature of relationship, indeed, 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

 

This extraordinary book is the story of a writer being made and making herself. It is the story of depression coming in waves and being beaten back through love and stubbornness. And also it is one of our finest writers scrutinizing the books that have mattered most to her.
- Akhil Sharma, author of Family Life

 

Reading Yiyun Li feels like being inside a mind--a quietly forceful, unrelenting mind. Within the limits of language, which she all but touches, she unfolds an argument with the self. She is suspicious of the very concept of the self, but she does not, ultimately, refuse its possibilities. "What a long way it is from one life to another," she writes, while closing that space.
- Eula Biss, author of On Immunity


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