A Little Life is without a doubt one of the most difficult novels I've read in a while. Not because of its language, but because of the characters and what happens to them. These characters become more than fictional ideas; they become people and the more you read of their lives, the more their stories feel like hazy memories and forgotten nightmares. I described the plot as "plodding" because it at times can read quite slowly though that doesn't detract from the interest of the novel. Yanagihara's strength is creating characters and she displays that strength with such ferocity that, despite the story feeling like a very long biography of several characters, you're following every painful word and left with its lingering presence in your mind.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARThe New York Times - The Washington Post - The Wall Street Journal - NPR - Vanity Fair - Vogue - Minneapolis Star Tribune - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - The Guardian - O, The Oprah Magazine - Slate - Newsday - Buzzfeed - The Economist - Newsweek - People - Kansas City Star - Shelf Awareness - Time Out New York - Huffington Post - Book Riot - Refinery29 - Bookpage - Publishers Weekly - Kirkus WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZEA MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALISTA NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTA Little Life follows four college classmates--broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition--as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara's stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.