My first publication on the Mainland

My review of Yiyun Li’s collection of short stories, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, was published in the most recent edition of City Weekend, my favorite of the expat-focused magazines here in Beijing. I’ve also proofed the past two issues, which is always fun, since I like the crazy detail-obsessed exercise of checking an entire magazine for errors, and since the people who work there are so much fun. The managing editor, C., is a really cool guy, as well, which is always a bonus. In any case, here’s my review, and a short excerpt from it:

Li’s characters are at the same time figures of the so-called New China and fascinating individuals, people any of us would be intrigued to talk with waiting on line at the bank. In these stories, Beijing opera singers turned male prostitutes mingle with students heading abroad on scholarship, while deposed kings of rocket science tour the American Midwest and laid-off factory workers marry decomposing widowers to ensure a nice standard of living.

Doesn’t it sound great? It was actually a pretty fair read, though what I wrote in the lead is completely true–I did forget for almost the entire length of the first story that I had actually already read it in The New Yorker a couple of years ago.

Posted by on November 10th, 2005

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