Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyum Li, is a collection of nine short stories all set in China between the 1970s and the present date. The stories unveil a China that is very similar to Americans and is populated by ordinary Chinese people and the daily joys and challenges of their lives.
Li, a native of China, moved to the United States in 1996 at the age of 23. She set out to study immunology but changed course and began to write stories in English, still the only language in which she writes.
Throughout April, the Chicago Public Library and its program partners will host a variety of events celebrating the book. Highlights include:
- Yiyun Li discusses the book with Achy Obejas at the Harold Washington Library Center on April 19;
- Author and scholar Jeffrey Wasserstrom presents a lecture on 21st century presented in partnership with Chicago Sister Cities;
- The Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago offer a week of screenings of the documentary film Mulberry Child, which shares many themes from Gold Boy, Emerald Girl and features local author Jian Ping;
- Silk Road Rising theatre troupe stage a reading from the book;
- A concert of music inspired by Li's stories presented with the Chinese Fine Arts Society;
- A tour of Chinatown with the Chinese Cultural Institute;
- The Chinese-American Museum of Chicago present a lecture and exhibits;
- An open mic night for teens in YOUmedia at the Chicago Public Library.
Chicago Public Library librarians have created a resource guide for Gold Boy, Emerald Girl that is available online and at all Chicago Public Library locations, bookstores and partner institutions.
The 2012 Spring One Book, One Chicago is presented by the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Public Library Foundation, Allstate and BMO Harris. Partners include DePaul University, Park Hyatt Chicago, and Chicago Public Radio.