Creative Writing Faculty

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li headshot

Photo by Roger Turesson


Yiyun Li is the author of six books, including two story collections, A Thousand Years of Good PrayersGold Boy, Emerald Girl, three novels, The VagrantsKinder Than SolitudeWhere Reasons End, and an essay collection, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Li was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2010, and was chosen by The New Yorker as one of the 20 fiction writers under 40 to watch. Awards for Li’s work include: the 2020 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction, Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, Asian American Literary Award for fiction, Benjamin H. Dank Award from American Academy of Arts and Letters, Sunday Times EFG Short Story 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 at

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

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

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


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

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

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

Tolstoy Together: Read War and Peace with Yiyun Li at






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

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