Writer Yiyun Li on Writing and Depression

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Author Yiyun Li poses for a portrait.  (Photo: Philippe Matsas)

Oakland-based writer Yiyun Li has a resume that many writers would covet: she's just published her sixth book and was awarded a 2010 MacArthur Foundation Award. Less enviable, however, is her struggle with suicidal depression, a battle which she explores in her new memoir, “Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life.” Li joins us today to talk about confronting her two essential questions: Why write? And why live?


Yiyun Li, professor, UC Davis; author, "Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life," "The Vagrants" and "Gold Boy, Emerald Girl"