Mona Simpson in Conversation with Yiyun Li- Casebook & Kinder Than Solitude

Monday, May 19, 2014 - 7:00pm

From award-winning author, Mona Simpson, comes a beguiling new work about an eavesdropping boy working to discover the mysteries of his unraveling family in: Casebook: A Novel ($25.95). He uncovers instead what he least wants to know- the workings of his parents' private lives.

Miles Adler-Rich, helped by his friend Hector, spies on his separating parents. Both boys are in thrall to Miles's unsuspecting mother, Irene, who is "pretty for a mathematician." Their amateur detective work starts innocently but soon takes them to the far reaches of adult privacy as they acquire knowledge that will affect the family's well-being, prosperity, and sanity. The boys struggle to deal with the existence of evil, and proceed to concoct hilarious modes of revenge on their villains and eventually, haltingly, learn to offer animal comfort to those harmed and to create an imaginative path to their own salvation.

Mona Simpson is the author of Anywhere But Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy, My Hollywood, and Off Keck Road, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and won the Heartland Prize of the Chicago Tribune. She has received a Whiting Writer's Award, a Guggenheim grant, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, and, recently an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In her magnificent new novel, internationally acclaimed author Yiyun Li masterfully moves a story of three childhood friends back and forth in time between America and China. Both a gripping novel of suspense and a penetrating study of personal corruption and moral ambivalence, Kinder Than Solitude ($26.00) is the unforgettable story of three friends whose lives are changed by a murder one of them may have committed.

When Boyang, Ruyu and Moran were young, they would share two bicycles among the three of them and whistle John Denver’s “Country Roads” as they explored Beijing. Then, they are involved in a mysterious accident in which a neighbor is poisoned, and their friendship splinters. Now grown and estranged, all three are living anonymous lives as they ruminate on the “accident,” trying to come to terms with their actions and self doubt, all three haunted by what really happened. Brilliantly written, this work resonates with provocative observations about human nature and life.                               

Yiyun Li is the author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, The Vagrants, and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. A native of Beijing and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and the Guardian First Book Award. Granta named her one of the best American novelists under thirty-five, and The New Yorker named her one of twenty U.S. writers under forty to watch. She teaches writing at the University of California, Davis.


Casebook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385351416
Availability: Special Order
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - April 15th, 2014

From the acclaimed and award-winning author of Anywhere But Here and My Hollywood, a powerful new novel about a young boy's quest to uncover the mysteries of his unraveling family. What he discovers turns out to be what he least wants to know: the inner workings of his parents' lives. And even then he can't stop searching.

Kinder Than Solitude Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400068142
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House - February 25th, 2014

A profound mystery is at the heart of this magnificent new novel by Yiyun Li, "one of America's best young novelists" ("Newsweek") and the celebrated author of "The Vagrants, "winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.