A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers

A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers

Book - 2005
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Brilliant and original,A Thousand Years of Good Prayersintroduces a remarkable new writer whose breathtaking stories are set in China and among Chinese Americans in the United States. In this rich, astonishing collection, Yiyun Li illuminates how mythology, politics, history, and culture intersect with personality to create fate. From the bustling heart of Beijing, to a fast-food restaurant in Chicago, to the barren expanse of Inner Mongolia,A Thousand Years of Good Prayersreveals worlds both foreign and familiar, with heartbreaking honesty and in beautiful prose. "Immortality," winner of The Paris Review's Plimpton Prize for new writers, tells the story of a young man who bears a striking resemblance to a dictator and so finds a calling to immortality. In "The Princess of Nebraska," a man and a woman who were both in love with a young actor in China meet again in America and try to reconcile the lost love with their new lives. "After a Life" illuminates the vagaries of marriage, parenthood, and gender, unfolding the story of a couple who keep a daughter hidden from the world. And in "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," in which a man visits America for the first time to see his recently divorced daughter, only to discover that all is not as it seems, Li boldly explores the effects of communism on language, faith, and an entire people, underlining transformation in its many meanings and incarnations. These and other daring stories form a mesmerizing tapestry of revelatory fiction by an unforgettable writer. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2005.
ISBN: 9781400063123


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Sep 19, 2017

Beautifully written, these stories are not full of cheer and happiness. If you want to know how it was to grow up in China after Mao, you'll gain a lot of insight. But expect to be saddened by most of these tales.

Jul 07, 2016

Four Stars is high praise for short stories from me. I am not a fan of short stories and yet this collection of interesting and sometimes disturbing stories about Chinese and Chinese Americans captured my attention. Of particular interest to me were the stories that took place in China during its move to a free market economy.

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