Join the HCSF Reading Group to discuss "Gold Boy, Emerald Girl" by Yiyun Li

January 14, 2024
4:30-6:00 pm PST

In-Person Meeting
San Francisco

HCSF Members: Free, but RSVP required
Non-Members: $10
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Location information will be emailed to registrants two days before the meeting. Note: usual venue is not wheelchair accessible. Please contact meeting organizer for details.

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Gold Boy, Emerald Girl
Yiyun Li
221 pages

In 1996, Li left her native China for an immunology PhD program in Iowa. However, before long she switched focus to writing in English, collecting non-fiction and fiction MFAs from Iowa and the Iowa Writers' Workshop respectively. She went on to win Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, contribute regularly to the New Yorker, teach at UC Davis, and to the lead the Creative Writing Program at Princeton. This early collection consists of an 80-page novella and 8 short stories, mostly set in China. 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 investigative agency to expose extra-marital affairs in Beijing.

"Li succeeds in making the details of a very particular and very sharply drawn time and place express something broader and more universal. . . As in reading Chekhov, one is struck by how profoundly important the lives of ordinary people are made to seem, and by what a sizable chuck of existence—an entire life or several lives—has been compressed into a few pages." (New York Times)

Meeting organizer:
Kirsten Miclau