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A Little Life  : Shortlisted for the 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction - Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life

Shortlisted for the 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

Paperback

Published: 22nd March 2016
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Published: 21st May 2015
Format: ePUB
$9.99

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance.

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cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realise, 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.

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.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
A Little Life
 
4.8

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (9)
  • Well written (9)
  • Page turner (6)
  • Suspenseful (5)
  • Deserves multiple readings (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (5), Bookworm (3), Casual reader (3)

Reviewed by 11 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Sensational

By 

from Victoria, Australia

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Engaging Characters
  • Page Turner
  • Suspenseful
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers

    Comments about A Little Life:

    Arguably the most moving book I have ever read. Missed it when it was finished, and it took days to recover from the experience. Beautiful, tender and gutting.

     
    5.0

    Character development is fantastic

    By 

    from Sth Coast Australia

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Engaging Characters

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about A Little Life:

        Easy to understand why A little life won the prize.

         
        5.0

        Amazing book!

        By 

        from Australia

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Page Turner
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about A Little Life:

            Amazing book that I was unable to put down once I started and that played on my mind for weeks after I finished.

             
            5.0

            Hard to read at times, but achingly beautiful

            By 

            from Newcastle, Australia

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Engaging Characters
            • Well Written

            Cons

            • Hard subject matter at times

            Best Uses

              Comments about A Little Life:

              I went online and bought this when I had only just started reading it (from a library copy). I don't often buy books unless I love them, but this book was captivating to me right from the start. It was hard to read at times, because it was such a depressing book, but also really beautiful. The characters were well developed, I thought, and parts of it really forced some introspection. Highly recommended!

               
              5.0

              Absolute must read

              By 

              from Melbourne

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Engaging Characters
              • Page Turner
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about A Little Life:

                  This is literally the best book I've ever read. Despite bring very confronting, I could not stop reading it. It was like a movie where you forget there are actors and it is not real life. Reading this book is a life experience and a very important read. I have never marvelled so much about the skill of an author. Pure genius.

                   
                  4.0

                  Compelling and heartbreaking

                  By 

                  from Auckland, NZ

                  About Me Bookworm

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Engaging Characters
                  • Page Turner
                  • Suspenseful
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Gift
                    • Travel Reading

                    Comments about A Little Life:

                    Even though the book was very long and perhaps overwrought, I couldn't stop reading. The characters were interesting and layered, and the central character's life story was heartbreaking.

                     
                    5.0

                    On my must read list

                    By 

                    from Adelaide Australia

                    About Me Bookworm

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • A Soecial Book For Me

                    Cons

                    • Saving It For My Holiday

                    Best Uses

                    • Literature Lovers

                    Comments about A Little Life:

                    This book is on my 'to read list' and as soon as I am ready I know it is already in my bookshelf.

                     
                    5.0

                    Amazing. A must read.

                    By 

                    from Melbourne

                    About Me Casual Reader

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Engaging Characters
                    • Highly Emotive
                    • Suspenseful
                    • Well Written

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Older Readers

                      Comments about A Little Life:

                      One of the best books I have ever read. Although quite harrowing at times, wonderfully developed characters and beautifully written. I won't forget A Little Life.

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Amazing but confronting

                      By 

                      from Sydney

                      About Me Everyday Reader

                      Pros

                      • Engaging Characters
                      • Page Turner
                      • Suspenseful
                      • Well Written

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Gift

                        Comments about A Little Life:

                        Very hard to put down, one however must eventually go to sleep.
                        Beautifully written.
                        Insightful exploration into human fragility and failings.
                        Demonstrates the enduring nature and power of love.
                        Inspiring read but at times quite confronting.
                        Loved it!

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Tragic but engaging

                        By 

                        from Queensland

                        About Me Everyday Reader

                        Pros

                        • Engaging Characters
                        • Well Written

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about A Little Life:

                            I'd liken it to "The Term of His Natural Life" by Marcus Clarke. How much can one person endure! But also how one person cannot escape his horrific childhood.

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

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                            'Utterly gripping. Wonderfully romantic and sometimes harrowing, A Little Life kept me reading late into the night, night after night' -- Edmund White

                            'One of the pleasures of fiction is how suddenly a brilliant writer can alter the literary landscape ... Ms. Yanagihara's immense new book ... announces her, as decisively as a second work can, as a major American novelist. Here is an epic study of trauma and friendship written with such intelligence and depth of perception that it will be one of the benchmarks against which all other novels that broach those subjects (and they are legion) will be measured. In recent years, only Edward St. Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels have confronted with similarly enduring power the long aftermath of abuse (and the sleepless duties required in loving abuse victims). But while Mr. St. Aubyn's writing relies on matador-like thrusts of barbed irony, A Little Life achieves its lasting effect with calm, thoroughgoing realism. There's an amazing sense of totality in the portrayals here, and in Jude especially. He is fragmented by fear and shame, but Ms. Yanagihara depicts him as a man in full. His life, the precarious essence of this important novel, is not less than an odyssey of survival' -- Wall Street Journal

                            'Martin Amis once asked, "Who else but Tolstoy has made happiness really swing on the page?" And the surprising answer is that Hanya Yanagihara has: counterintuitively, the most moving parts of A Little Life are not its most brutal but its tenderest ones, moments when Jude receives kindness and support from his friends ... A Little Life feels elemental, irreducible-and, dark and disturbing though it is, there is beauty in it' -- Jon Michaud New Yorker

                            'How often is a novel so deeply disturbing that you might find yourself weeping, and yet so revelatory about human kindness that you might also feel touched by grace? Yanagihara's astonishing and unsettling second novel ... plumbs the rich inner lives of all of her characters... You don't just care deeply about all these lives. Thanks to the author's exquisite skill, you feel as if you are living them ... A Little Life is about the unimaginable cruelty of human beings, the savage things done to a child and his lifelong struggle to overcome the damage. Its pages are soaked with grief, but it's also about the bottomless human capacity for love and endurance ... It's not hyperbole to call this novel a masterwork - if anything that word is simply just too little for it' -- San Francisco Chronicle

                            '[The] spring's must-read novel ... Her debut ... put her on the literary map, her massive new novel ... signals the arrival of a major new voice in fiction ... Her achievement has less to do with size than with her powerful evocation of the fragility of self ... the pained beauty that suffuses this novel, an American epic that eloquently counters our culture's fixation with redemptive narratives.' -- Vogue US

                            'The triumph of A Little Life's many pages is significant: It wraps us so thoroughly in a character's life that his trauma, his struggles, his griefs come to seem as familiar and inescapable as our own. There's no one way to experience loss, abuse, or the effects of trauma, of course, but the vividness of Jude's character and experiences makes the pain almost tangible, the fall-out more comprehensible. It's a monument of empathy, and that alone makes this novel wondrous' -- Huffington Post

                            'Often painful but thoroughly brilliant ... Yanagihara's massive new novel ... is hurtful. That's because, among other things, it is the enthralling and completely immersive story of one man's unyielding pain. It also asks a compelling question: Can friends save us? Even from ourselves? ... Yanagihara's close study of [her characters'] lives and Jude's trauma makes for a stunning work of fiction' -- New York Daily News

                            'This spellbinding, feverish novel sucks you in ... One of the most compassionate, moving stories of our time ... An exquisitely written, complex triumph' -- Oprah.com

                            'A darkly beautiful tale of love and friendship... I've read a lot of emotionally taxing books in my time, but A Little Life ... is the only one I've read as an adult that's left me sobbing. I became so invested in the characters and their lives that I almost felt unqualified to review this book objectively ... There are truths here that are almost too much to bear - that hope is a qualified thing, that even love, no matter how pure and freely given, is not always enough. This book made me realize how merciful most fiction really is, even at its darkest, and it's a testament to Yanagihara's ability that she can take such ugly material and make it beautiful' -- Los Angeles Times

                            ISBN: 9781447294832
                            ISBN-10: 1447294831
                            Audience: General
                            Format: Paperback
                            Language: English
                            Number Of Pages: 640
                            Published: 22nd March 2016
                            Publisher: Pan Macmillan
                            Country of Publication: AU
                            Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 13.2  x 4.6
                            Weight (kg): 0.55