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Chinese Author’s Short Story Collection The Next ‘One Book, One Chicago’

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Cover of "Gold Boy, Emerald Girl" by Chinese author Yiyun Li. (Photo Courtesy Chicago Public Library)

Cover of “Gold Boy, Emerald Girl” by Chinese author Yiyun Li. (Photo Courtesy Chicago Public Library)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Public Library officials have selected “Gold Boy, Emerald Girl,” a collection of short stories by Chinese author Yiyun Li for this spring’s “One Book, One Chicago” citywide book club.

Li, a winner of the MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” grant in 2010, emigrated from her native China in 1996 at the age of 23, according to a library news release.

In addition to the MacArthur Genius grant, she has been awarded the Plimpton Prize and the Pushcart Prize for her short stories, which are written in English.

“Gold Boy, Emerald Girl” is a collection of nine stories set in China, between the 1970s and today.

Beginning in April, the Chicago Public Libraries will host a variety of events to discuss and celebrate the book, including an exhibit of artwork inspired by the stories, created by local high school students at workshops at CPL YOUmedia spaces.

The artwork will be on display throughout April at the Harold Washington Library Center downtown.

Li will discuss her book with Cuban-American author and Chicago resident Achy Obejas at the Harold Washington Library on April 19.

The Silk Road Rising theater troupe will also stage a reading from the book, the Chinese Fine Arts Society will present a concert of music inspired by the stories, and the Chinese Cultural Institute will host a tour of Chinatown as part of the program.

The “One Book, One Chicago” program started in the fall of 2001 under former Mayor Richard M. Daley to encourage Chicago residents to read the same book at the same time and discuss the book at book club events throughout the city.

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