Tolstoy Together

When the first pandemic lockdowns began back in March 2020, acclaimed novelist Yiyun Li took to social media with a modest proposal: a communal reading of Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece War & Peace, complemented by daily reflections and live conversation on Twitter.

Li’s invitation met with a hearty response from readers around the world: hundreds participated in the online book club. Some of their comments, along with Li’s reflections, were published earlier this fall in Tolstoy Together: 85 Days of War & Peace.

On this episode, Li joins Commonweal literary editor Anthony Domestico for a wide-ranging conversation about the project, the pleasures of reading together, and why Tolstoy still matters. 

For further reading:

“Sometimes we are attracted by the opposite of what we would like ourselves to be.”—Yiyun Li

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