Publication Date: September 14, 2021
Among the many pleasures of the #TolstoyTogether group [is] seeing how much we’ve read reminds me I’ve been traveling all along, and not alone.
“You know how, very occasionally in your life, there’s a ‘before and after’ reading experience? Well, reading War and Peace with Tolstoy Together has been that for me—a milestone not just in reading but in living.” —Michael Langan
From the acclaimed author of Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life, a book about the art of reading. In Tolstoy Together: 85 Days of War and Peace, Yiyun Li invites you to travel with her through Tolstoy’s novel—and with fellow readers around the world who joined her for an online book club and an epic journey during a pandemic year.
“I’ve found that the more uncertain life is,” Yiyun Li writes, “the more solidity and structure War and Peace provides.” Tolstoy Together expands the epic novel into a rich conversation about literature and ways of reading, with contributions from Garth Greenwell, Elliott Holt, Carl Phillips, Tom Drury, Sara Majka, Alexandra Schwartz, and hundreds of fellow readers.
Along with Yiyun Li’s daily reading journal and a communal journal with readers’ reflections—with commentary on craft and technique, historical context, and character studies, Tolstoy Together: 85 Days of War and Peace includes a schedule and framework, providing a daily motivating companion for Tolstoy’s novel and a reading practice for future books.
Yiyun Li is the author of seven books, including Where Reasons End, which received the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award; the essay collection Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life; and the novels The Vagrants and Must I Go. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Windham-Campbell Prize, among other honors. A contributing editor to A Public Space, she teaches at Princeton University.
“The brilliant novelist Yiyun Li has started a War and Peace book club online at A Public Space. You read twelve pages a day of War and Peace in a whole community of readers. And the next thing you know, you have read War and Peace, which is terrific.” —Ann Patchett, PBS Newshour
“A paradoxically rich connection with strangers who are widely dispersed yet linked by their predicaments and imaginations…. Thousands of isolated souls are on the same page.” —Alix Christie, Economist
Yiyun Li on starting a virtual book club during the pandemic: An Interview with Yiyun Li and Annie Liontas in Electric Literature
Tolstoy’s Uncommon Sense and Common Nonsense: Yiyun Li’s Introduction to Tolstoy Together in the Paris Review Daily
How the Pandemic Inspired Even More People to Join Book Clubs: Yiyun Li on Tolstoy Together in Shondaland
Yiyun Li, Garth Greenwell, & Idra Novey, a conversation about Tolstoy Together hosted by Politics & Prose
Yiyun Li in conversation with Ayana Mathis, hosted by Left Bank Books
Yiyun Li in conversation with Amitava Kumar, hosted by Skylight Books