A Yi worked as a police officer, secretary and editor before settling down at the age of 32 to the fiction he always knew he would write. After a brief stint on the editorial board of the literary magazine Chutzpah, he moved to the Xiron publishing company, where he is an editor of the the Iron Gourd literary-fiction imprint. His first collection of short stories, Grey Stories, was published in 2008. This was followed by The Bird Saw Me, a book of observations, blog posts and sketches titled Guaren and the novella Now, What Shall I Do Next?. His first book to appear in English is A Perfect Crime, published in 2015.