Hi Everyone,

This is a special edition of “Let’s Deconstruct a Story” recorded live on June 24, 2022, at Pages Bookshop in Detroit featuring Lydia Conklin in conversation with the novelist, Lillian Li, about her short story collection Rainbow Rainbow and specifically about the story “Sunny Talks” which first appeared in “One Story” in January of 2022.

You will love this conversation! Lillian Li (author of “Number One Chinese Restaurant”) was such an amazing interviewer! It made me think I should have guest interviewers on the podcast more often. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Because this is a live recording, the sound quality is a little bit wonky and if you would like the recording transcribed just reach out to me and I will be happy to send one to you!

This episode is part of a series of podcasts offered in collaboration with the Grosse Pointe Public Library in Michigan. The GPPL has committed to purchasing ten books by each author this season to give to their patrons! If you are a short story writer who has tried to make money in this game then you know what a big deal their support is to us! My hope is that other libraries will follow the GPPL’s lead and be inspired to buy books by these talented short story writers. I will be contacting many libraries this year to suggest this programming. Please feel free to do the same if you enjoy this podcast.

This podcast is also supported by Pages Bookshop in Detroit, and we would be extremely grateful if you purchased the book online through Pages. Local bookstores won’t survive without help from customers like you!

Thanks, everyone! See you on August 15th with Selena Anderson and “Godmother Tea.


Please listen here on Anchor:

or here on Spotify. (You can also find this podcast on four other platforms)


Lydia Conklin is an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Vanderbilt University. Previously they were the Helen Zell Visiting Professor in Fiction at the University of Michigan. They’ve received a Stegner Fellowship in Fiction at Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, three Pushcart Prizes, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, a Creative & Performing Arts Fulbright to Poland, work-study and tuition scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Djerassi, Hedgebrook, the James Merrill House, the Vermont Studio Center, VCCA, Millay, Jentel, Lighthouse Works, Brush Creek, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Caldera, the Sitka Center, and Harvard University, among others. They were the 2015-2017 Creative Writing Fellow in fiction at Emory University. Their fiction has appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere, and is forthcoming from The Paris Review. They have drawn graphic fiction for Lenny Letter, Drunken Boat, and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and cartoons for The New Yorker and Narrative Magazine. Their story collection, Rainbow Rainbow, will be published in June 2022 by Catapult in the US and Scribner in the UK.

Lillian Li is the author of the novel Number One Chinese Restaurant, which was an NPR Best Book of 2018, and longlisted for the Women’s Prize and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Granta, One Story, Bon Appetit, Travel & Leisure, The Guardian, and Jezebel. Originally from the D.C. metro area, she lives in Ann Arbor.

Please purchase a copy of Rainbow Rainbow here from Pages or here from Bookshop.