Ophelia Field

After Tiananmen

Kinder Than Solitude

By

Fourth Estate 320pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Yiyun Li’s second novel wears its complexity lightly. It shifts between three bright teenagers, a boy and two girls, living in Beijing shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre, and their stories some twenty years later, after the two women have emigrated to the United States, leaving their friend, Boyang, to become a successful businessman in China. The whodunnit aspect – who poisoned a fourth young woman and why – successfully counterbalances Kinder Than Solitude’s otherwise essayistic tendencies. Li’s writing still shows influence, in other words, of her time at both the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and its Writers’ Workshop for fiction.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,