A reader's companion for Tolstoy's epic novel, War and Peace, inspired by the online book club led by Yiyun Li. For the writer Yiyun Li, whenever life has felt uncertain, War and Peace has been the novel she turns to. In March 2020, as the pandemic tightened its grip, Li and A Public Space launched #TolstoyTogether, a War and Peace book club, on Twitter and Instagram, gathering a community (that came to include writers such as Joyce Carol Oates, Garth Greenwell, and Carl Phillips) for 85 days of prompts, conversation, succor, and pleasure. It was an experience shaped not only by the time in which they read but also the slow, consistent rhythm of the reading. And the extraordinary community that gathered for a moment each day to discuss Tolstoy, history, and the role of art in a time like this. Tolstoy Together captures that moment, and offers a guided, communal experience for past and new readers, lovers of Russian literature, and all those looking for what Li identifies as "his level-headedness and clear-sightedness offer ing] a solidity during a time of duress.
About the Author
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. A Public Space is an independent nonprofit publisher of an eponymous award-winning literary, arts, and culture magazine, and A Public Space Books. Under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes since 2006, it has been our mission to seek out overlooked and unclassifiable work, and to publish writing from beyond established confines.