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Kinder Than Solitude by Yiyun Li
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Kinder Than Solitude

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Kinder Than Solitude by Yiyun Li
Paperback $17.00
Jan 20, 2015 | ISBN 9780812980165

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  • Jan 20, 2015 | ISBN 9780812980165

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  • Feb 25, 2014 | ISBN 9780812996029

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“The surface of Yiyun Li’s prose is deceptively still, but just beneath the surface are the sadness, pain, and tragedy of three lives, each one driven into a kind of damaged solitude by the memory of the past. Li’s characters are portrayed with a harsh beauty, and one’s emotions become deeply engaged with their fates, and with the mystery of a poisoned woman, a crime which has shaped—perhaps deformed—them all. This is an exceptional novel, and Yiyun Li has grown into one of our major novelists.”—Salman Rushdie, author of Midnight’s Children

“Li is a high modernist. She infuses the traditional form with a fresh, rigorous beauty. Her novel is as clean and sharp and smart as a great piece of midcentury furniture, with that sense of permanence and increasing value.”—Mona Simpson, author of My Hollywood

“[A] sleek, powerful novel about the weight of memory, the brunt of loss and the myriad ways the past can crimp the soul . . . Li gives us gifts of gorgeous prose. . . . Rarely are ordinary humans given such eloquent witness.”The Washington Post

“What makes [Kinder Than Solitude] so vivid is its humanity. . . . It is an inquiry into how the past scars us, shaping present and future, and some deeds, once committed, can never be undone.”Los Angeles Times

“Quietly heartbreaking . . . [Li’s] true gift—learned by close study of Ivan Turgenev and William Trevor—is old-fashioned storytelling [and] a sense that a life, a whole life, can be captured on pages.”The Boston Globe

“Li turns an intricately plotted mystery into something more profound, one that queries the meaning of crime and punishment in the moral murk of contemporary China.”The New Yorker

“There’s something about the poise, the tidiness, the seemingly effortless calm of Yiyun Li’s writing that makes it easy to see her as an author who, like Jhumpa Lahiri, employs a Chekovian neutrality. . . . But look again. . . . There’s a withering, vibrating sarcasm at work in the juxtaposition of national and personal tragedies.”The New York Times Book Review

“Li is something of a connoisseur of loneliness and despondency—in this she is reminiscent of the . . . bard of solitude, William Trevor—and her book is rich in such elegant, fine-grained expressions of despair.”The Wall Street Journal

“Li’s chilly, philosophical storytelling offers layers of unsettling yet impressive insight into family legacies and cultural dynamics.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Li’s fourth work of fiction gives readers the trappings of a murder mystery with none of the dull formula. Instead, she burrows deeply into the minds of her characters. Her prose, by turns sumptuous and austere, is utterly precise, whether describing a crematorium, a roasted yam, or midwestern snowfall. A brilliant, sorrowful, and unpredictable novel.”Booklist

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