A Cemetery With a View

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Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing in the 1970s, a child of Communism. During her year in the Army, she kept a journal hidden under her bed, and at night she would lose herself in American novels.  When she moved to the U.S., Li renounced Chinese and started writing in English, and has been publishing short stories and essays in The New Yorker since 2003. As she was getting to know her new home of California, she would visit Mountain View Cemetery, in Oakland, where she found rich local history and a wellspring of imagined life stories.