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Wednesday's Child: Stories

por Yiyun Li

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684388,780 (3.95)6
"A new collection-about loss, alienation, aging, and the strangeness of contemporary life-by the award-winning and inimitable author of The Book of Goose"--
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A beautifully written book of short stories. I enjoyed reading one story every few days giving me time to think about each one. ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Dec 28, 2023 |
I've followed Yiyun Li's work for years and more often than not enjoy and admire her books (an exception being the last novel, The Book of Goose). Wednesday's Child lives up to the line in the nursery rhyme from which the title was taken: "Wednesday's child is full of woe." This is a collection of short stories, most of them sad or, at best, bittersweet. The protagonists are primarily Asian women who are in some way exiled from home or family (traveling, immigrating with family, on an international scholarship, etc.), and each has suffered a profound loss. The loss of a child, of a friendship, of a marriage, of a connection to home. It took me quite a while to complete this collection, partly because I simply needed something other than a downer, partly because other things were going on in my life. As always, the writing is precise and moving. ( )
1 vote Cariola | Oct 18, 2023 |
I’ve been slowly working my way through the stories in ‘Wednesday’s Child’ by Yiyun Li, savoring it as long as I could. It’s out, from FSG in September and you should definitely pick it up. This is easily, EASILY, one of the best collections I’ve read. In my slow consumption I saw that NetGalley and Macmillan Audio had made the audiobook available for review. I saw it was narrated by the author and actually included a bonus short story, so imagine my absolute elation when I was able to listen to it for the remainder of the book, while annotating my physical arc (provided by FSG). I’m so grateful that this collection found its way into my hands, my ears and my life. I appreciate you all so much.

What can I say, it’s a beautifully written, poignant, nuanced exploration of motherhood, womanhood, expectation, love and death and subsequent grief. The toxicity of some men runs throughout, the messaging being not that all men are toxic but rather that toxicity exists across class, age and time and can exist even in a child, even in those we deem “good”. I loved that perspective was an important part of the stories, how what we experience both culturally and individually, contributes to our ideas of right and wrong and the threshold we have for life and it’s difficulties. It’s a cohesive work that remains fresh, throughout. Some of these passages were so crystalline and others made me achingly aware of the veil, affixed to my eyes, as I move through the world. This resonated with me, as you might imagine, especially as a mother. But where I felt comfort I also felt challenged.

The audiobook was perfect, and the bonus story, “Call Me Ishmael’s Mother” was one of my favorites. It tackles being a “bad” mother and the layers of that. Hearing Yiyun Li tell these stories only added to the impact, for me. Aside from the bonus story, “On the Street Where You Live” really stood out. A mother navigates raising a child who isn’t seen as “normal” and the conflict within herself and the guilt she feels, some misplaced and some warranted.

Pick this one up!! ( )
  jo_lafaith | Aug 20, 2023 |
stopped after Hello, Goodbye to return to Library - resume on p 64 ( )
  Overgaard | Sep 30, 2023 |
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"A new collection-about loss, alienation, aging, and the strangeness of contemporary life-by the award-winning and inimitable author of The Book of Goose"--

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