Thousand Years of Good Prayers, A

Li, Yiyun

  8 Reviews

This collection of stories explores the ravages of the Cultural Revolution on modern Chinese, both in China and America. Yiyun Li illuminates how mythology, politics, history, and culture intersect with personality to create fate. From the bustling heart of Beijing, to a fastfood restaurant in Chicago, and to the barren expanse of Inner Mongolia, the stories reveal worlds both foreign and familiar.

Comments from Groups

Initially all were depressed by the subject matter but as we read the book this was replaced with all being very impressed with the skill of the writing. Good discussion. Cooks Beach 001

An interesting insight into Chinese culture. Engendered lots of discussion. All appreciated the author's grasp of the English language. Stratford 001

This is an impressive book and often really shocking. It left us, unexpectedly, with many questions unanswered about the Chinese way of life. Auckland 088

Sparked a lot of discussion somewhat around the lack of hope - the acceptance of the characters of their lot in life, which led on to discussions of culture and spirituality. Auckland 230

Good book for readers interested in literature of a different culture. Kurow 002

All found the stories interesting. Most impressed with the author's English skills and would like an update on her present whereabouts and if she is still writing. Her dispassionate, objective style is impressive. Waiheke 001



NELS 002
Very interesting.
Not many enjoyed the book....felt there was a lack of emotion and didn't really enjoy 'short' stories.
Our group struggled to connect with these short stories. Aware of lack of emotional connection in relationships in these stories.
Good writing. Sad book. We were all glad we live in N.Z.
CHCH 094
An interesting look into life as it was in China.
WELL 178
We all enjoyed this. The cultural differences and resonances were fascinating. We liked the spare style and the way the narrative and characters were presented without judgement. Some of us are going on to read her memoir (whose title came from Katherine Mansfield!).
TAKA 001
One or two found the stories too traumatic to read, but most ( that had read more about China) found they could handle it because of the non-sentimental way of writing. ie. this is how it was. Most enjoyed it - sort of. Favourite stories were 'Extra' ( Grannie Len) and 'A Thousand Years of Good Prayers'.
This book provoked a good discussion.