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Must I Go: A Novel Audiobook, by Yiyun Li Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Yiyun Li Narrator: Alex McKenna, Jane Alexander, John Rubinstein Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2020 ISBN: 9780593286517
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“One of our major novelists” (Salman Rushdie) tells the story of a woman reflecting on her uncompromising life, and the life of a former lover, in this provocative novel. “Yiyun Li is one of my favorite writers, and Must I Go is an extraordinary book.”—Meg Wolitzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Female Persuasion and The Interestings Lilia Liska has shrewdly outlived three husbands, raised five children, and seen the arrival of seventeen grandchildren. Now she has turned her keen attention to the diary of a long-forgotten man named Roland Bouley, with whom she once had a fleeting affair. Increasingly obsessed with Roland's intimate history, Lilia begins to annotate the diary with her own rather different version of events, revealing the surprising, long-held secrets of her past. She returns inexorably to the memory of her daughter Lucy. This is a novel about life in all its messy glory, and of a life lived, by the extraordinary Lilia, absolutely on its own terms. With great candor and insight, Yiyun Li navigates the twin poles of grief and resilience, loss and rebirth, that compass a human heart. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • This brilliant novel examines lives lived, losses accumulated, and the slipperiness of perception. Yiyun Li writes deeply, drolly, and with elegance about history, even as it’s happening. She is one of my favorite writers, and Must I Go is an extraordinary book. Meg Wolitzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Female Persuasion and The Interestings
  • There is no writer like Yiyun Li, no one in contemporary literature who is as masterful at digging into the uncertainty of our existence on this earth. And Must I Go is sheer brilliance. Lilia Liska is one of the most arresting, strangely funny, and complex characters I've ever met. In constructing a narrative that allows us to look into the past in order to reckon with what comes next, Li does something truly transformative. She remakes our world for us, so we can figure out how to keep living in it. Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here and The Family Fang
  • "Any new book by Yiyun Li is cause for celebration, but now more than ever do we need the clarity and humaneness of her vision. Must I Go takes us into her familiar and powerful emotional territory, brilliantly exploring how what we love, what we lose, and what we mourn make, unmake, and remake us into the human beings that we are. Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend
  • “A portrait of resilience like no other, Must I Go takes Yiyun Li—and the reader—into entirely new emotional territory. Bracing and almost unnervingly perceptive, this is wisdom literature for our time. Gish Jen, author of The Girl at the Baggage Claim
  • “Fierce and intransigent, startling in the frankness with which she rebuffs conventional expectations of maternal docility and ‘niceness,’ the protagonist of Yiyun Li’s fascinating new novel is both an eighty-one-year-old grandmother mourning, after thirty-seven years, the death by suicide of her firstborn child and a woman obsessed with the private life of a former lover, the father of the deceased daughter, whose diary she is reading and annotating at length. Lilia Liska is a memorable creation—‘as hard as the hardest life whose sharp judgments and shrewd, if harsh, insights into life ring with the painful candor of truth. As Lilia bravely declares: ‘Happy people have no use for words.’

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About the Author

Yiyun Li is the author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and The Vagrants. A native of Beijing and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the recipient of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and the Guardian First Book Award. In 2007, Granta named her one of the best American novelists under thirty-five. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, A Public Space, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Prize Stories, among others. She teaches writing at the University of California, Davis, and lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and sons.

About the Narrators

Alex McKenna is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and a television and film actress best known for her role as Abby Macy in the television series Crossing Jordan.

Jane Alexander‘s acting career has encompassed a Tony® Award, and six other nominations; she is a four time Oscar® nominee; the author of Command Performance, documenting her tenure as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1993-1997; and she is Commissioner of Parks, the Taconic Region, for New York State.

John Rubinstein is an actor, composer, and director who won a Tony Award for his starring role in Broadway’s Children of a Lesser God. He has narrated dozens of audiobooks, earning several AudioFile Earphones Awards and being named a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2013.