Abby's Reviews > Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li
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's review
Nov 26, 2010

really liked it
Read in November, 2010

I really enjoyed the subtlety of Li's debut collection of short stories because they revealed reservoirs of feeling that struggled to overcome gulfs in distance (literal or figurative) and culture. However, I disliked most of the stories in this second collection because they were often too subtle, with little revelation at the end. The first short story, Kindness, spans 60+ pages and is more like a novelette. There is Alice Munro-like foreshadowing of something ominous between the protagonist and Professor Shan or Lieutenant Wei, but nothing comes to pass and the story is just a reminscence of a girls' ordinary life without any momentous occurrence.

Li continues to write about the Cultural Revolution and the Chinese countryside, when she herself has lived in America for the past decade. Perhaps she could start observing and writing about the subtleties of her adopted homeland instead.

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