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Immigrants Of The Day: Yiyun Li of China, and Luke Song of South Korea

by Kevin R. Johnson

Yiyun Li (China)

Image_normal Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and came to the United States in 1996 to pursue a Ph.D. in immunology but stopped short to become a writer. She has an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and an M.F.A. in creative non-fiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All-Story, Best American Short Stories, O Henry Prize Stories and elsewhere. 

Her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, and California Book Award for first fiction. She was recently selected by Granta as one of the Best Young American Novelists. Her work has been translated into more than ten languages.

51%2BIvPo%2B36L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ Her novel, The Vagrants, is set in China right after the Cultural Revolution. It weaves the stories of several otherwise unrelated characters around a common event -- the execution of a one-time Cultural Revolutionary for subsequent "counterrevolutionary" thinking.  For a glowing review by the N.Y. Times, click here.

April 29, 2009 | Permalink

Luke Song (South Korea)

12hats-75 Born in South Korea, Luke Song is a designer and milliner, owner of Mr. Song's Millinery in Detroit. He became a celebrity receiving world wide media attention when soul goddess Aretha Franklin wore a hat he designed when she sang for President Obama's inauguration; the hat instantly became the talk of the town.

Hat tip to IntLawGrrl Diane Amann!

April 28, 2009 | Permalink

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.