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Yan Li

Yan Li was born in Beijing. She received a B.A. from the Shanxi Teacher’s University in China and an M.A. from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Li came to Canada in 1987 and completed another M.A. in 1990 at the University of Windsor where she submitted a major research paper entitled: An American Missionary Community in North China’s Bao Ding Fu and the Boxer Rebellion : The Tragedy of 1900. Yan Li is the director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Waterloo and the coordinator of the Chinese language program at Renison University College. In addition to publishing two novels in English, Li has published several novels in Chinese.


Daughters of the Red Land

Toronto: Sister Vision Press, 1995.

Awards and Honours

1996 Books in Canada First Novel Award (Finalist)


Lily in the Snow

Toronto: Women’s Press, 2009.
PS8573 .I21 L54 2010

Publisher’s Synopsis

A story of adjustment, acceptance, and belonging emerges from the settings of Red China and contemporary Mapleton, Ontario. Lily, a young immigrant, is trying to make it on her own – and succeeding in her own way. Then her mother arrives – she’s come to “save” her daughter. Through Lily’s challenging relationship with her mother and with the vibrant and quirky Chinese community in Mapleton, we witness unexpected changes and challenges as she copes with her new environment and the transformation of her spirit and soul.

Lily in the Snow provides a unique perspective on the universal tale of intergenerational conflict and explores the Chinese immigrant experience in Canada with humour and insight.


Publisher Women’s Press