Originally from Beijing, Yiyun Li moved to the United States as a young adult. She thought her life would unfold as a scientist but found herself turning to writing in English. Her cultural lineage is Chinese, but she found literary lineage in Irish writers like William Trevor and Elizabeth Bowen. Li's second novel, Kinder than Solitude (Random House), addresses emotional brutality as a subject of our time. Distrustful of love, her characters find themselves in a state of solitude, or alone-ness, that lacks solace.
Read an excerpt from Kinder than Solitude.