Chicago, Monday, February 27, 2012. The Chicago Public Library announced today that the short story collection Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li will be Chicago’s citywide book club selection for Spring 2012.
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl is a collection of nine short stories all set in China between the 1970s and the present date. Its stories and characters share a captivating simplicity both in style and substance, and will unveil a China and a people very similar to us. The world Li creates is populated by ordinary Chinese people and the daily joys and challenges of their lives—from a girl in the army trying to keep her distance for self-preservation, to the woman who takes in wives and families of inmates on death row, to the man who has returned to China after years in the U.S. and has secrets from the mother who takes him in.
Yiyun Li is one of contemporary literature’s masters of the short story. Her work has been published extensively and received countless awards, including the Plimpton Prize from The Paris Review and a Pushcart Prize. In 2010 Li received a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship. A native of China who moved to the United States in 1996 at the age of 23, she set out to study immunology but changed course and began to write stories in English, still the only language in which she writes.
During the month of April, the CPL will be offering many special opportunities to explore the stories, themes and the Chinese culture in relation to Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and the author. Go to the Chicago Public Library website for dates, times and ticket information, TBA. Or call the library at 312 747-4050.
• Author Yiyun Li discusses her book with Achy Obejas at the Harold Washington Library Center on April 19;
• Author and scholar Jeffrey Wasserstrom presents a lecture on 21st century presented in partnership with Chicago Sister Cities;
• The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago offer a week of screenings of the documentary film Mulberry Child, which shares many themes from Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and features local author Jian Ping;
• Silk Road Rising theatre troupe stage a reading from the book;
• A concert of music inspired by Li’s stories presented with the Chinese Fine Arts Society;
• A tour of Chinatown with the Chinese Cultural Institute;
• The Chinese-American Museum of Chicago present a lecture and exhibits;
• An open mic night for teens in YOUmedia at the Chicago Public Library.
An exhibit of artwork inspired by Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, created by Chicago area high school students through workshops in the Library’s YOUmedia digital space for teens, will run throughout April at the Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State Street). This exhibit includes photography, graphic design, painting, illustration and poetry.