A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
I enjoyed these subtle, humane and affecting stories immensely and will definitely read more work of this author.
The title story, “A thousand years of good prayers”, was made into a fine movie by director Wayne Wang.
“The happiness of love is a shooting meteor; the pain of love is the darkness following.”
After a life *****
“For each drop of water one received, one has to repay with a well.”
I don't have doubts that communism in China wa ...more
I can see why these stories won awards, they are honest, well written and realistic tales of the struggles of ordinary Chinese people (most are set in China, two in America). Taken together, they do paint quite a bleak picture, but the human spirit is always strong.
I won't attempt to describe the original stories here, but I enjoyed reading them and found them rather impressive. ...more
In her short story collection A Thousand Good Years of Prayers each character vies to break free fr ...more
Original post here.
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li is one of the books that I was dared to read this year, courtesy of the book club's I Dare You To Read year-ender/welcome activity last January. A short backgrounder: participants to the activity were asked to name one Best Read and one Worst Read for 2013 (if they could bring their print copies or share digital copies of the books, that would be even better), and then everyone gets to pick one title each from the collated Best ...more
While the stories were uniquely Chinese, in that they reflect the political, economic and social context of the country, they deal with universal human experiences, such as love, family, finding purpose in ...more
1. There were two stories done in first-person plural. One of them, 'Immortality' - about how a boy grows up to be a Mao lookalike - is perhaps the best story in the collection.
2. In two of the stories, Li falls into a common trap - having to explain a lot of back-story towards the end of the story. Examples are 'The Arrangement' and the titular story.
3. There are at least three classic short stories here - 'After a Life', 'Immortality', and 'Death Is Not a Bad Joke If Told the Right Way' ...more
With a Plimpton Prize and publications in the New Yorker and Paris Review, Li has found her natural medium: writing stories in her nonnative English. Her language is simple and graceful, her observations of modern life penetrating and moving. In her book debut, she has rendered, with freshness, the rich tapestry of global Chinese life in all its complexity, angst, and comfort.
This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine....more
I noted too, a few other interesting p ...more
The writing was good, but the stories themselves were very negative and depressing. They dealt with the lives of Chinese people in modern day China and all the c ...more
These are stories about people, family relationships and concerns. These do not vary greatly with country or culture, but you also find out a lot about modern China and its economic and social realities while ...more