Immortality Criticism

Yiyun Li
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Li's collection of stories, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, in which “Immortality” appeared, was greeted with universal acclaim. Reviewers admired Li's treatment of the different ways in which Chinese people came to terms with the dramatic changes in their society during the 1990s and also her many portraits of Chinese immigrants adapting to life in the United States. Publishers Weekly calls the book “A beautifully executed debut collection. . . . These are powerful stories that encapsulate tidily epic grief and longing.”

Many reviewers also singled out “Immortality” for comment. Fatema Ahmed in the New York Times Book Review describes it as the most ambitious story in the collection, in which Li takes the reader “on a virtuoso tour” through the turbulence of China's twentieth century history. Ahmed comments that “The collective first-person narrators, reminiscent of the bereaved neighborhood boys in Jeffrey Eugenides' novel The Virgin Suicides, are...

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