Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

Book - 2010
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In these spellbinding stories, Yiyun Li, Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner and acclaimed author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and The Vagrants , gives us exquisite fiction filled with suspense, depth, and beauty, in which history, politics, and folklore magnificently illuminate the human condition. 
   
In the title story, a professor introduces her middle-aged son to a favorite student, unaware of the student's true affections. In "A Man Like Him," a lifelong bachelor finds kinship with a man wrongly accused of an indiscretion. In "The Proprietress," a reporter from Shanghai travels to a small town to write an article about the local prison, only to discover a far more intriguing story involving a shopkeeper who offers refuge to the wives and children of inmates. In "House Fire," a young man who suspects his father of sleeping with the young man's wife seeks the help of a detective agency run by a group of feisty old women. 

    Written in lyrical prose and with stunning honesty, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl reveals worlds strange and familiar, and cultures both traditional and modern, to create a mesmerizing and vibrant landscape of life.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400068135
1400068134
Branch Call Number: FICTION YIYUN LI 09/2010
Characteristics: 221 p. ;,25 cm.

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uncommonreader
Aug 02, 2012

The characters in these short stories are aliented from human relations. I also enjoyed other books by this author.

melwyk Feb 13, 2012

I like short stories, even if I don't read them as often as I read other forms of fiction. This collection was wonderful: no one story overwhelmed the others, or seemed pale in comparison to the others.

In many of the stories, older women feature prominently. They are reviewing their lives, or wondering what went wrong, how they've missed out somehow. But the characters are all different people, despite their commonalities. There is no one character that always seems to be speaking for the author. I really admired her skill at creating settings that were alive, that seemed to be the natural place for each character to exist in. Most of the stories were set in China, but a few had American elements as well, and one of these ended up being a favourite for me. By chance, it's the title story, "Gold Boy, Emerald Girl", a phrase denoting an equally handsome married couple.

A kind of calm, assured writing which never promises that things will be perfect is found throughout the collection. I enjoyed this read and all of the varied characters introduced to us. Very rewarding read and I know I'll be looking for more by this author.

s
Shinara1
Jan 22, 2012

depressing -
to defy society
you sink into yourself and
cut yourself off from everyone around you.

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