Kate Wolf speaks with celebrated author Yiyun Li about her latest novel, The Book of Goose. A tale of a passionate friendship between two adolescent girls set in a rural village in postwar France, The Book of Goose is told from the perspective of Agnès. Now living in America, many years later, she recounts the devotion and creativity she shared with her best friend, Fabienne, when they were young. Together the two girls composed a book of stories, but, at Fabienne’s urging, Agnès posed as the sole author when the book was eventually published, setting the course of their lives in two very different directions. An examination of friendship, poverty, feminine ambivalence, and death, Li’s novel is most concerned with the nature of stories themselves: where they come from, how they function, and who they belong to.
Also, Rachel Aviv, author of Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories that Make Us, returns to recommend Louis Sass’s Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought.