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Writing for the wor(l)ds: the reflection on language in Yiyun Li’s literary production

  • Martina Renata Prosperi

Yiyun Li, b. 1972, moved from Beijing to the US in 1996, where she soon realized to be a talented writer. Although her early works, including the collections of short stories A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (2005) and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl (2010), and the novels The Vagrants (2009) and Kinder Than Solitude (2014), still privileged Chinese settings and characters, after the publication of her memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life (2017) the literary landscape depicted by Li was amplified with autobiographical anecdotes and reflections on literature, human relations and language. Building upon psychoanalytical hints, this article offers a close reading of Where Reasons End (2019) and Must I Go (2020), reflecting on Li’s literature from a global perspective, and arguing that her contribution to world literature lies in her bold dissociation from any conventional, crystallized and thus imprisoning use of language.

  • Keywords:
  • Yiyun Li,
  • World Literature,
  • Sinophone Studies,
  • Exophony,
  • Jacques Lacan,
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Martina Renata Prosperi

Roma Tre University, Italy - ORCID: 0000-0001-9512-7642

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  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Pages: 159-174
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
  • © 2023 Author(s)

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  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Writing for the wor(l)ds: the reflection on language in Yiyun Li’s literary production

Authors

Martina Renata Prosperi

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0068-4.14

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2023

Copyright Information

© 2023 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Words and visions around/about Chinese transnational mobilities 流动

Editors

Valentina Pedone, Miriam Castorina

Peer Reviewed

Number of Pages

204

Publication Year

2023

Copyright Information

© 2023 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0068-4

ISBN Print

979-12-215-0067-7

eISBN (pdf)

979-12-215-0068-4

eISBN (epub)

979-12-215-0069-1

Series Title

Studi e saggi

Series ISSN

2704-6478

Series E-ISSN

2704-5919

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