by Winnie M Li Read profile


Winner of the Guardian Not The Booker Prize 2017 Shortlisted for Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2018

Highly Commended for the CWA Debut Dagger 2015

Shortlisted for the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize 2015

Shortlisted for the Pat Kavanagh Prize 2015

Runner-up in the SI Leeds Literary Prize

Published 1st June 2017 (Hardback), 1st November (Paperback)

Vivian is a cosmopolitan Taiwanese-American tourist who often escapes her busy life in London through adventure and travel. Johnny is a 15-year-old Irish teenager, living a neglected life on the margins of society.

On a bright spring afternoon in West Belfast, their paths collide during a horrifying act of violence.

In the aftermath, each is forced to confront the chain of events that led to the attack.

Inspired by true events, this is a story of the dark chapters and chance encounters that can irrevocably determine the shape of our lives.

STYLIST Top 10 debuts to look out for in 2017

‘I have never found myself rooting for a heroine with more urgency than in Dark Chapter’ Kate Rhodes

‘Winnie Li is a rare talent with an explosive and timely story. Do not miss it.’ Marti Leimbach

‘An important and moving book’ Cathy Rentzenbrink

‘Complex and rewarding’ Stylist

‘A must-read…. Stunning’ Erin Kelly

‘Lyrical, haunting and hypnotic… A must read.’ Irenosen Okojie

‘An accomplished debut, an honest and unsparing story’ Cath Staincliffe

‘An unflinching lens on the sexual assault landscape and one that should be applauded.’ Ali Land

'A powerful story, compassionately told.' Ros Barber

‘Brave, raw and visceral’ A.D. Garrett

'Extremely well written… an impressive and powerful debut' Isabel Wolff

'Not just an important book, it is a very, very good one, and the first, you feel, of many from Winnie M Li' Glenn Patterson

 ‘Not only a beautiful book, but a very important one too.’ Madeleine Black, author of Unbroken

 ‘…fresh and original. The writing is direct, assured and compelling.’ CWA Debut Dagger 2015 Judges

‘An engaging and important story.’ SI Leeds Literary Prize 2016 Judges

'This is a book about survival. Dark Chapter should be seen as a beacon of hope, as well as a tale of how sadistic and destructive male violence really is.' Julie Bindel

'A brave and unflinching novel' Bernardine Evaristo

'Writing about rape is never easy, yet Winnie Li handles it with sensitivity and without over-sentimentality… an engrossing story.’ Kadija Sesay, SI Leeds Literary Prize Chair of Judges

‘A fine debut from an exceptional talent.’ Stuart Neville, award-winning author

‘A shocking yet thought-provoking insight into the impact of rape on both victim and perpetrator. There are important lessons to be learnt… a book to be read and discussed.’ Canon Ed Newell

‘Gripping, intense and exhilarating. This book should find its way to the hands of every man who has ever downplayed the magnitude of such a matter.’ JJ Bola

'A tour de force… a definitive novel about trauma after violence' Trina Vargo

‘Winnie Li's novel, like those by Roxane Gay, Cara Hoffman, and Jessica Knoll, is an important addition to the literary landscape… a unique and unflinching story about sexual violence.’ Sarah Knight, internationally bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

‘Dark Chapter is equal parts terrifying and gripping, confronting and illuminating, shocking and insightful… a brave and brilliant piece of writing.’ Bidisha, broadcaster and journalist

‘Affecting and powerful, Winnie Li’s work as both a writer and activist shows incredible depth and passion. An important story, beautiful and brutal equal measure, which addresses a vital topic from a rarely told female perspective.'  Tiff Stevenson, Award-winning Comedian, Actor, and Writer