The Sleep Library

Do you toss and turn until you finally sit up and flip on the light? Here are 11 books to get you through the endless, restless hours of the night, if not soothe you back to sleep.
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl  by Yiyun Li
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

240 pages; Random House
The tales in Yiyun Li's second collection often take on the otherworldliness of myth, in a country where "big tragedies and small losses [can] all be part of a timeless dream." But what makes Gold Boy, Emerald Girl fascinating is the conflict between traditional and modern-day China. In the wrenching "Prison," for example, a Chinese-born woman, still grieving her daughter's death, goes home to hire a surrogate to provide her a second chance at motherhood. When reading Li's deceptively simple writing, you appreciate the subtle sociopolitical commentary, but her characters' vivid interior worlds—full of loss and hard-won wisdom—lift smart subject matter into masterful storytelling.
— Stephan Lee