Memoirist Yiyun Li Will Give Reading at Ithaca College

By David Maley, February 27, 2017

Memoirist Yiyun Li Will Give Reading at Ithaca College

The Ithaca College Distinguished Visiting Writers Series will present a reading by fiction writer and memoirist Yiyun Li on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Free and open to the public, her presentation will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Clark Lounge, Campus Center. It will be followed by a question-and-answer session and book signing.

Li’s debut short-story collection, “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” won the 2005 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. Two of the selections from the collection — the title story and “The Princess of Nebraska” — were adapted into films directed by Wayne Wang.

Li just published her memoir, “Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life,” a painful and yet richly affirming examination of what makes life worth living, which she wrote over two years while battling suicidal depression.

In 2010, Li was honored with a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. Her stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and Zoetrope: All-Story. She is an editor of Brooklyn-based literary magazine, A Public Space.

Li grew up in Beijing, China, and moved to the United States in 1996 after earning a B.S. degree at Peking University. She earned an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of Iowa and an M.F.A. in fiction from Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

In addition to offering a public reading, the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series gives advanced writing students at Ithaca College the opportunity to participate in workshops that allow them to learn from some of America’s foremost writers. For more information, visit