Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun LiWhat a long way it is from one life to another, yet why write if not for that distance?
Startlingly original and shining with quiet wisdom, this is a luminous account of a life lived with books. Written over two years while the author battled suicidal depression, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life is a painful and yet richly affirming examination of what makes life worth living.
Yiyun Li grew up in China and has spent her adult life as an immigrant in a country not her own. She has been a scientist, an author, a mother, a daughter and through it all she has been sustained by a profound connection with the writers and books she loves. From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Soren Kierkegaard and Philip Larkin, Dear Friend is a journey through the deepest themes that bind these writers together.
Interweaving personal experiences with a wide-ranging homage to her most cherished literary influences, Yiyun Li confronts the two most essential questions of her identity: Why write? And why live?
Write the Story of Your Life
You know you have a book in you. The story you have to tell will resonate for anyone who has longed to accomplish what you have, or who is seeking guidance on his own journey. While yours is a story only you can tell, you may need help writing your book. I know you want to grab the reader from page one and hold his attention through to the very last page. Imagine your book in the hand of a reader eager to discover the wisdom only you can share. Maybe you got stuck writing it, or figuring out how all the pieces fit together. More immediate projects are constantly competing for your time and attention.
I really enjoy talking to people about their book concepts. It is wonderfully rewarding! Some prospective clients have very good ideas and just need help. However, occasionally there are those calls which frustrate me beyond belief. One occurred the other day…. I was right in the middle of the last chapter of a memoir I was ghostwriting for a client when the phone rang. She had voiced a common plea.
Can you help me? If we hear it often enough, we start to take it seriously. And five baskets does not a Kobe Bryant make. Do not pursue publishing. Read my posts about writing memoir. Here they are: Posts about Memoir.
During my MA in Creative Writing 10 years ago, writing the story of your life was somewhat frowned upon. I could never marry the two strands of thinking. How are you supposed to write about what you know, but not be allowed to use your life as inspiration? In both novels I used my life as a mere reference to the time and subject matter of these two stories. So I started a series of posts, telling the story of my life, of how I met and married my English husband. You scream — a novel? Surely what you were writing was an autobiography?