Books

Where Reasons End

A novel by Yiyun Li.

Yiyun Li

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 fearless writer meets life's deepest sorrows in this dialogue between mother and child in a timeless world, composed in the months after the author lost a child to suicide. Where Reasons End trespasses into the space between life and death as mother and child talk, free from old images and narratives. Deeply moving, these conversations portray the love and complexity in a relationship across generations. (From Random House)

From the book

Mother dear, Nikolai said.

I was surprised. He used to only call me that when I wasn't paying attention. But here I was, holding on to my attentiveness because that was all I could do for him now. I've never told you how much I loved you calling me that, I said.

What did you call Grandma?

When I was your age? Mamita, I said.

That was endearing, he said.

You have to get the name right when you find the person hard to endear, I said. Endear, I thought, what an odd word. Endear. En-dear. In-dear. Can you out-dear someone?

And fancy seeing you here, Nikolai said.

One of us made this happen, I said.

I blame you.


From Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li ©2019. Published by Random House.

Interviews with Yiyun Li

Eleanor talks with Chinese-American author Yiyun Li about her 2014 novel Kinder Than Solitude, set in the shadow of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and inspired by real life events. 53:39

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