Yiyun Li, Jia Tolentino explore instinct, motivation

Written by
Sarah Malone, Program in American Studies
Dec. 16, 2019

The third of six events in the 2019-20 Asian American Studies Lecture Series concluded the fall semester’s celebration of new Asian American writing with readings by Yiyun Li, professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, and Jia Tolentino, staff writer for The New Yorker. An audience of nearly a hundred students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members overflowed East Pyne Hall, Room 010 on December 4, 2019.

Li read “All Will Be Well,” a story published in the March 11, 2019 issue of The New Yorker. Tolentino read “Ecstasy,” an essay from her collection Trick Mirror. An excerpt of the essay was published in the May 27, 2019 issue of The New Yorker.

Paul Nadal, assistant professor of English and American studies and a co-organizer of the series, introduced Li and Tolentino, and moderated discussion following the readings. Topics included identity, community, and writing, and their evolving relation to the internet.

After the discussion, many from the audience joined Li and Tolentino for a reception and book signing upstairs in the Upper Hyphen, where Labyrinth Books staffed a table.

In the next Asian American Studies Lecture Series event, on February 26, 2020, Monica Youn, lecturer in creative writing, and Jenny Zhang read in McCormick Hall, Room 101 at 4:30 p.m.