Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and came to the United States in 1996. Her stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, O Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from Lannan Foundation and Whiting Foundation.
Her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, and California Book Award for first fiction; it was also shortlisted for Kiriyama Prize and Orange Prize for New Writers. Her novel, The Vagrants, won the gold medal of California Book Award for fiction, and was shortlisted for Dublin IMPAC Award. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, her second collection, was a finalist of Story Prize and shortlisted for Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Kinder Than Solitude, her second novel, was published to critical acclaim. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.
She was selected by Granta as one of the 21 Best Young American Novelists under 35. In June 2010 she was named one of the New Yorker's "20 Under 40" list of fiction writers worth watching.
She is a contributing editor to the Brooklyn-based literary magazine, A Public Space.
She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their two sons, and teaches at University of California, Davis.
This biography was last updated on 07/18/2014.
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