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A Little Life

A Little Life 3

by Hanya Yanagihara
Publication Date: 21/05/2015
5/5 Rating 3 Reviews

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting and profoundly moving book in many a season.

An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.

There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride.

Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome-but that will define his life forever.

In a remarkable and precise prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize
Shortlisted for the 2016 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction

Featured in our Best Books of 2015

'Astonishing and unsettling ...A masterwork' - San Francisco Chronicle

'Announces Yanagihara as a major American novelist' - Wall Street Journal

About the Author
Hanya Yanagihara is the author of The People in the Trees. She is an editor-at-large at Condé Nast Traveller and lives in New York City.

Contemporary fiction
Publication Date:
Pan Macmillan
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Hanya Yanagihara

Hanya Yanagihara is the author of The People in the Trees.

She is an editor-at-large at Condé Nast Traveller and lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (3 Ratings)
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  • Prepare for amazement

    by on

    This is five stars all the way, a truly brilliant character story of four classmates who move to New York. It’s an intensely powerful and disturbing read, full of pain and beauty. If you choose to read this be prepared for something truly amazing and jarring. It packs an emotional punch to say the least.

  • A book to remember

    by on

    The best book I have read for a very long time- and I read a lot of books- brilliantly written. A story that will stay with you for a while.

  • A Little Life

    by on

    OMG - gut wrenching, no fairy tale but magnificent. YOU will re-evaluate life. I cried, I laughed, I cried, I loved. And then my life was different.