e-Book The Vagrants download

e-Book The Vagrants download


ISBN: 0007196652
ISBN13: 978-0007196654
Language: English
Publisher: FOURTH ESTATE (2009)
Subategory: Unsorted

ePub size: 1492 kb
Fb2 size: 1441 kb
DJVU size: 1944 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 844
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Yiyun Li has written a book that is as important politically as it is artistically. Yiyun Li writes with a quiet, steady force, at once stoic and heartbreaking. Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl

Yiyun Li has written a book that is as important politically as it is artistically. The Vagrants is an enormous achievement. Ann Patchett, author of Run. Every once in a while a voice and a subject are so perfectly matched that it seems as if this writer must have been born to write this book. Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl. There is a magnetic small-town universality to The Vagrant. ut this is small-town universality with a difference. That difference is Communist China.

Brilliant and illuminating, this astonishing debut novel by the award-winning writer Yiyun Li is set in China in the late 1970s, when Beijing was rocked by the Democratic Wall Movement, an anti-Communist groundswell designed to move China beyond the dark shadow of the Cultural Revolution toward a more enlightened and open society.

Yiyun Li's 2005 debut story collection A Thousand Years of Good Prayers earned her comparisons with Chekhov and Alice Munro.

Yiyun Li (Chinese: 李翊雲; born November 4, 1972) is a Chinese-American writer. Her short stories and novels have won several awards and distinctions, including the PEN/Hemingway Award and Guardian First Book Award for A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Li grew up in Beijing, China.

If The Vagrants sounds like a grim and lightless book, though heart-rending at every turn, it is. Steadily collecting atrocities and amassing paragraphs with the solidity of bricks, it replaces the tender ease and range of some of Li’s earlier stories with a much more focused, imprisoned rage. It can seem, in fact, less like a novel - since movement and plot are fairly sparing - than a counter-document of sorts, a private, unsanctioned portrait of those interiors (in every sense) that are always left out of the grand official picture.

Yiyun Li. A day of equality it was, or so it had occurred to Teacher Gu many times when he had pondered the date, the spring equinox, and again the thought came to him: Their daughter's life would end on this. day, when neither the sun nor its shadow reigned. A day later the sun would come closer to her and to the others on this side of the world, imperceptible perhaps to dull human eyes at first, but birds and worms and trees and rivers would sense the change in the air, and they would make it their responsibility to manifest the changing of seasons

Yiyun Li has written a book that is as important politically as it is artistically

Yiyun Li has written a book that is as important politically as it is artistically. The China that Yiyun Li shows us is one most Americans haven’t seen, but her tender and devastating vision of the ways human beings love and betray one another would be recognizable to a citizen of any nation on earth. Nell Freudenberger, author of The Dissident.

In luminous prose, Yiyun Li weaves together the lives of these and other unforgettable characters, including a. .Praise for The Vagrants. She bridges our world to the Chinese world with a mind that is incredibly supple and subtle.

In luminous prose, Yiyun Li weaves together the lives of these and other unforgettable characters, including a serious seven-year-old boy, Tong; a crippled girl named Nini; the sinister idler Bashi; and Kai, a beautiful radio news announcer who is married to a man from a powerful family. Life in a world of oppression and pain is portrayed through stories of resilience, sacrifice, perversion, courage, and belief. A Balzacian look at one community’s suppressed loves and betrayals. A brilliant writer confronts grief and transforms it into art, in a book of surprising beauty and love. Yiyun Li is the author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and The Vagrants. The narrator of Where Reasons End writes, "I had but one delusion, which I held on to 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. A native of Beijing and a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is the recipient of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Whiting Writers' Award, and the Guardian First Book Award.

the best book about modern China. Published by Thriftbooks. com User, 10 years ago. I've been an avid fan of Ha Jin until Yiyun Li came along. For writings on modern China, Yiyun is simply the best. After A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, I was afraid that any follow-up act would disappoint. Instead, The Vagrants shone brilliantly. For anyone interested in modern China, I would say this is a must-read. It's not a political novel, though it's about a political time.

From Under the Heather Books ([...])

What I Liked
This book made a habit of sneaking up on me. Lulled into a quiet state by its tempered prose and gentle character descriptions, I was repeatedly shocked out of this dream. The unexpected import of small details and the complexity of the story’s purposefully jagged edges was riveting. What begins as a story of resignation becomes a story of hope, desire, and passion. Even so, The Vagrants never loses its singed border born of mystery and scorching misery.

While it’s not a cheerful read, a subtle beauty and a magnanimity of perspective sets Li’s style apart. Li avoids the political soapbox by focusing on the intensely personal. She lets her readers absorb the enormity of the plot as it unfolds in the small dramas of the characters’ lives. The characters are allowed and uncommon level of honesty in their development, making it possible to relate to even the most unfathomable of their predicaments.

What I Didn’t Like
Unfortunately, the long-game style of Li’s writing makes for a slow start. For the first hundred pages or so, it was difficult for me to hook myself on the book. She gathers the pieces of the puzzle with startling restraint before beginning to place them side by side. This gave the impression of a story fragmented by so many seemingly unrelated voices. The reader is bombarded by a flurry of personal details that seem to bear no relation to the plot, and it can feel overwhelming. It was only around the middle of the book that I began to notice the delicate artistry with which Li was constructing her story. At which point I dove in and didn’t look up until the final page was turned.

My Recommendation
I recommend this book to readers who have patience, but not only for a story is not immediately gripping. You must also have the patience to endure vast evil and injustice. You must be willing to wallow through indignity and humiliation. You will walk hand in hand with fear and desperation. The prose may be gentle—the story is not. You will not leave the shadow of death unchanged.

While I loved this novel, I know I have a much heartier appreciation for sadness and pain in books than others. It is in those emotions that I have found the most haunting and unforgettable beauty. The Vagrants is a wonderful window into a critical historical moment. If you’re willing to take the plunge, I believe you will find it well worth it.

Set in 1979, at the close of the Cultural Revolution and a few years after the death of Mao, “The Vagrants” explores a time when one could turn one’s back on injustice, speak out against it, or simply try to exist. None of these positions, not even the last, is safe. The novel centers on the public denunciation and horrifying execution of a young woman, a former Red Guard named Gu Shan who has turned counter-revolutionary. However this is just the first part of the book; the second part follows a protest that arises over the injustice of her killing and the third is again retribution, this time against those who lent their names or voices to the protest.

YiYun Li interweaves the stories of many people who live in the nondescript town of Muddy River, ranging from Tong, a seven year old boy devoted to his dog, to the elderly Huas, wanderers who live on the margins of society. None of these stories is predictable in its outcome. For example, the execution of their daughter forces Teacher Gu and his wife into roles quite opposite and unexpected from their public personae. The child Tong inadvertently brings great trouble upon his family. Nini, a starving crippled girl breaks free of her abusive family. Upon this single public event, the execution, the social and familial arrangements of Muddy River turn like the wheel of a kaleidoscope, and no one is exempt from change.

To read “The Vagrants” is to enter a world in which people’s lives are so tightly bound together that the smallest kindness or most insignificant cruelty may have repercussions that can’t be anticipated and thus can’t be deflected.

M. Feldman

This book was on the "reading list" of influences that Anthony Marra (author of the Chechen influenced "Constellation of Vital Phenomena") which Marra outlined as influential to his writing. The Vagrants is an excellent portrait of the stings and mis-steps of the Cultural Revolution, and its effects on a series of families and individuals. Surprisingly ample and yet concisely rendered characters occupy the small outlier City in China Mrs. Li constructs where a young woman is assassinated ostensibly for actions (thoughts and writings) contrary to the interests of the state. The author works around this topic with a diverse group of characters, young and old, indifferent and engaged, rich and poor. The portrait of a modern China Yiyun Li presents is a brief but epic statement about the personality of Chinese culture, and what factors in the culture make the state so powerful in Chinese society. This collective portrait of a tormented society evolves from a series of related tales of how the assassination (political murder) effects a whole range of personalities in a provincial town. I Strongly recommend this book, it drew me in and I read it in two long sittings. Lovely use of language, simple and effective.

The Vagrants illuminates a little-known period of history--the final years of China's Cultural Revolution, with as unusual a cast of characters as one could imagine. The story is mesmerizing as the moments unfold. I will not summarize the plot, but I will say that the events that occur, and the people that are brought to life are extraordinary, and left me much richer in both history, imagination, and understanding.

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