by Yiyun Li
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Pub Date 05 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2023
A new collection—about loss, alienation, aging, and the strangeness of contemporary life—by the award-winning, and inimitable, author of The Book of Goose.
A grieving mother makes a spreadsheet of everyone she’s lost. Elsewhere, a professor develops a troubled intimacy with her hairdresser. And every year, a restless woman receives an email from a strange man twice her age and several states away. In the stories of Wednesday’s Child, people strive for an ordinary existence until doing so becomes unsustainable, until the surface cracks and the grand mysterious forces—death, violence, estrangement—come to light. Even before such moments, everyday life is laden with meaning, studded with indelible details: a filched jar of honey, a mound of wounded ants, a photograph kept hidden for many years, until it must be seen.
Yiyun Li is a truly original writer, an alchemist of opposites: tender and unsentimental, metaphysical and blunt, funny and horrifying, omniscient and unusually aware of just how much we cannot know. Beloved for her novels and her memoir, she returns here to her earliest form, gathering pieces that have appeared in The New Yorker, Zoetrope, and other publications. Taken together, these stories, written over the span of a decade, articulate the cost, both material and emotional, of living—exile, assimilation, loss, love—with Li’s trademark unnerving beauty and wisdom.
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Wednesday's Child is so beautifully crafted. A set of stories about grief and how it bursts out in so many ways. Even though the stories range from melancholy to truly sad, the careful word choice by Yiyun Li creates almost a song, a lullaby, a dirge. I did not know if I would enjoy this story collection but I did very much.
Li has lived much of what she writes and that makes it even more poignant. She is an incredible writer and her work will haunt your dreams! If you love true literature, Wednesday's Child is for you!