Wednesday's Child: Book summary and reviews of Wednesday's Child by Yiyun Li

Wednesday's Child

Stories

by Yiyun Li

Wednesday's Child by Yiyun Li X
Wednesday's Child by Yiyun Li
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published Sep 2023
    256 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

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 Yiyun Li's stories, 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. And even 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.

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 memoirs, she returns here to her earliest form, gathering pieces that have appeared in The New Yorker, Zoetrope, and elsewhere. Taken together, the stories in Wednesday's Child, written over the span of a decade, articulate the cost, both material and emotional, of living—exile, assimilation, loss, love—with her trademark unnerving beauty and wisdom.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Splendid and elegantly observed ... Distinguished by their fully realized characters, nuanced narration, and striking portraits of everyday struggles, these stories find Li at the top of her game." ―Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"An infinite variety of ways to survive―or, at least, march through―devastating loss are cataloged in Li's cool and measured litany of pain ... The cumulative mass of the stories is sobering, a gorgeous almanac ... Quiet, beautiful accounts of journeys through hell." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Breaks may be required between these 11 stellar stories, both to absorb the brilliance of Li's prose and to honor the breathtaking heartbreak trapped within ... [An] exquisite collection ... Storytellers become lifesavers—ironically, tragically, even of the dead." —Booklist (starred review)

This information about Wednesday's Child was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Yiyun Li Author Biography

Yiyun Li is the author of six works of fiction—Must I Go, Where Reasons End, Kinder Than Solitude, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, The Vagrants, and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl—and the memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. She is the recipient of many awards, including the PEN/Malamud Award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Windham-Campbell Prize. Her work has also appeared in the New Yorker, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, among other publications. She teaches at Princeton University.

Link to Yiyun Li's Website

Name Pronunciation
Yiyun Li: ee-yoon lee

Other books by Yiyun Li at BookBrowse
  • The Book of Goose jacket

6 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more short stories...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

BookBrowse Sale!

Join BookBrowse and discover exceptional books for just $3/mth!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Fraud
    The Fraud
    by Zadie Smith
    In a recent article for The New Yorker, Zadie Smith joked that she moved away from London, her ...
  • Book Jacket: Wasteland
    Wasteland
    by Oliver Franklin-Wallis
    Globally, we generate more than 2 billion tons of household waste every year. That annual total ...
  • Book Jacket: Disobedient
    Disobedient
    by Elizabeth Fremantle
    Born in Rome in 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi led a successful career as an artist throughout the ...
  • Book Jacket: Valiant Women
    Valiant Women
    by Lena S. Andrews
    When Peggy Carter first appeared on the screen in Marvel's Captain America, my reaction was, "Oh, ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Fair Rosaline
by Natasha Solomons
A subversive, powerful untelling of Romeo and Juliet by New York Times bestselling author Natasha Solomons.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    All You Have to Do Is Call
    by Kerri Maher

    An inspiring novel based on the true story of the Jane Collective and the brave women who fought for our right to choose.

  • Book Jacket

    The September House
    by Carissa Orlando

    A dream home becomes a haunted nightmare in this compulsively readable, twisty, and layered debut novel.

Win This Book
Win Moscow X

25 Copies to Give Away!

A daring CIA operation threatens chaos in the Kremlin. But can Langley trust the Russian at its center?

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A M I A Terrible T T W

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.