As a nervous student of creative writing, I stumbled upon a conversation in Aysmptote between Claire Wigfall and Yiyun Li, both of whose stories I came to love. In that conversation, Yiyun Li discusses her literary relationship with William Trevor and the ways in which her stories form dialogues with his. This kind of writerly kinship seemed so liberating and hopeful to me. Almost all the stories I’ve written attempt a dialogue with another literary object. Among these is ‘Extra’, a particularly quiet and affecting example of Li’s work.
First published in The New Yorker, 2003. Read online