Yiyun Li with Manjula Martin

  • Kepler's 1010 El Camino Real Menlo Park, CA, 94025 United States
Credit: Philippe Matsas

Credit: Philippe Matsas

Yiyun Li, named one of the New Yorker's 20 Under 40, battled suicidal depression for over two years as she delved into her past and explored the essential questions of her occupation: Why Write? and Why Live? The book that emerged is a luminous account of both her life experience (as a scientist, author, mother, and daughter) and an homage to some of her most cherished literary influences.

Manjula Martin, editor of the new book Scratch and the managing editor of Zoetrope: All Story, joins Yiyun Li for a conversation about her life in letters, how she has changed since beginning this memoir, and her life outside of writing.