“One can and must live with loss and grief and sorrow and bereavement. Together they frame this life, as solid as the ceiling and the floor and the walls and the doors…”[p.93]
At times it seems you are intruding on something so personal you might be standing in the doorway, listening to the conversations between the mother and a son named “Nikolai.” The discourse is not always filled with a mother’s pain. Instead, it encourages reflection on life’s most unguarded moments when we feel most vulnerable, whether it is in grief or joy. Li has created a remarkable journey of shared conversations that shows the strength that is present in a family where love and differences are accepted and embraced.
Following the tragic death of her son by suicide, author Yiyun Li has bravely crafted a thought provoking novel which draws the reader into realistic musings on the value of life and into the void that death brings for the loved ones left behind.
Yiyun Li is a PEN/Hemingway award winner and was named by The New Yorker as one of the “20 under 40” fiction writers to watch.