My Posts on Yiyun Li
"Sweeping Past" on The Guardian
Yiyun Li is one of my favorite contemporary writers. I have posted on both of her novels and her profound memoir Dear Friend I Write From My Life to Yours as well as several of her beautifully crafted short stories.
My main purposes today are to journalize my reading of "Sweeping Past" and to let anyone interested know that the story can be read online on the webpage of The Guardian.
"Sweeping Past", set in China, is a fifty year look back on the lives of three girls who became "sworn sisters". The practice was looked down upon as feudal in Maoist China. The times were to turn ugly as a hatred for anything that seemed "western" or capitalistic became despised.
The women are now in their early sixties. China has largely become a capitalist country. A granddaughter of one of the women, her parents emigrated to Portugal long ago and own a very prosperous Chinese restaurant, is back in China for a two week vacation. She learns much about the family history of the girls, a grandson of one raped and murdered the daughter of another, not wanting to wait for their intended marriage for sex. He was executed.
I don't want to tell more of the story. You can read it in ten minutes or so. Li is a master at the depiction of the passing sweep of time.