Creative Writing Faculty

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li headshot

Photo by Roger Turesson


Yiyun Li is the author of eight books, including two story collections, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl; four novels, The Vagrants, Kinder Than Solitude, Where Reasons End, and Must I Go; and two nonfiction books, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life and Tolstoy Together, 85 Days of War and Peace with Yiyun Li. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Li was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2010 and a recipient of Windham Campbell Prize in 2020. Awards for Li’s work include a 2021 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, a PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, an Asian American Literary Award for fiction, the Benjamin H. Dank Award from American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the PEN/Jean Stein Award, and others. A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, an independent film directed by Wayne Wang and adapted by Li from her short story, was the winner of Golden Shell for best film, 55th San Sebastian International Film Festival.


“Creative Writing: Life, By the Book” | Princeton Alumni Weekly

“When We Were Happy We Had Other Names,” published in The New Yorker, October 2018. Read the story or listen to Li read aloud online

Yiyun Li: What I Think” | Princeton University, Dec. 10, 2018

“All Will Be Well,” published in The New Yorker, March 2019. Read the story or listen to Li read aloud online

Where Reasons End listed among Lit Hub’s  “26 Books from the Last Decade that More People Should Read” | Literary Hub, Dec. 3, 2019

Where Reasons End included on several top books of 2019 lists:

“Yiyun Li and Leslie Jamison Among PEN Award Nominees” | The New York Times, Jan. 28, 2020

2020 PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD FINALISTS | Pen America, Jan. 28, 2020

“PEN/Faulkner Foundation Announces longlist for 2020 Award for Fiction” — includes Where Reasons End, by Yiyun Li | Literary Hub, Feb. 7, 2020

Where Reasons End — Winner of 2020 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award — Pen America, March 2, 2020

Yiyun Li Receives a 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction | Windham Campbell Prizes, March 19, 2020

Let Mothers Doubt” | Esquire UK, July 2020

Under the Magnolia” | The Decameron Project — The New York Times Magazine, July 2020

Yiyun Li’s review of Carmen Boullosa’s The Book of AnnaThe New York Review of Books, Nov. 5, 2020

The Ability to Cry” | The New Yorker, Nov. 16, 2020

The Reason Why” | The Yale Review, Windham Campbell Prizes Issue, Dec. 2020

Tolstoy Together: Read War and Peace with Yiyun Li at A Public Space

Tolstoy Together: 85 Days of War and Peace with Yiyun Li, published in April 2021

Yiyun Li receives a 2021 Literature Award | American Academy of Arts and Letters, March 29, 2021

Yiyun Li collaborates with BodyVox Dance Company — Pearl Dive Project, Episode 4 premieres June 17, 2021







Campus Address

Program in Creative Writing
New South Building, Floor 6
Office 618

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