Where reasons end : a novel / Yiyun Li.

"'I had but one delusion, which I held onto with all my willpower: we once gave Nikolai a life of flesh and blood; and I'm doing it over again, this time by words.' In a world created outside of time, Li and the son who died talk about their lives. Deeply intimate and moving, thi...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Li, Yiyun, 1972- (Author)
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: New York : Random House, [2019]
Edition:First edition.
Subjects:
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

This heart-wrenching experimental novel from Li (The Vagrants) is framed as a dialogue between a writer and Nikolai, the teenage son she lost to suicide. The novel's title comes from a poem by Elizabeth Bishop, and poetry is very much on the narrator's mind, along with Alice in Wonderland and Wallace Stevens, as the freewheeling conversation turns toward such subjects as semantics, memory, the mechanics of grief, and a love that is "made not to last." Notably absent is a full reconstruction of her son's suicide (this isn't that kind of book), though readers do get to hear the voice of Nikolai-a precocious poet, painter, and oboist. During a conversation with her son, the mother wonders, "What if we accept suffering as we do our hair or eye colors?" Like Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking or Peter Handke's A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, Li's novel tries to find a language to reckon with the unspeakable reality of death. The novel succeeds in Li's approach of skirting the subject in favor of something between the dead's nostalgia for life and regular small talk. This is a unique, poignant, and tender evocation of life as touched irrevocably by death. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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