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92Y's Read By

Sep 27, 2020

Yiyun Li on her selection:

Some writers are good to be read in one mood but not another, some are good during one specific period but not another. The writers one can read at any moment are those who refuse to have a simplified relationship with their time. James Alan McPherson is one of them. I often return to his work for clarity; few writers' words can always do the work of mental Visine as well as his. What he wrote in this essay—"In my private view, some things were of greater importance than others...I wanted to do something for myself, outside of any group involvement, something private but also right according to my own scale of values"—has always been a guidance for my own writing. 

A Region Not Home 

Music: "Shift of Currents" by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0