I'm Not Sure If I'd Call It Little + Hanya Yanagihara

Thursday, April 09, 2015

At 700+ pages again - I'm not sure you can call it little.

The lock on the toolshed is smashed, the motel door is kicked in and a child ­emerges — blinky, freed from years of sexual service, the violence finally at an end. The newspapers celebrate another triumph of the human spirit, and move on. But does the victim do the same? How does someone go from years of suffering and shame to live out the rest of a life? This is the question Hanya Yanagihara, author of “People in the Trees,” takes on in her second novel.

This 700-plus-page narrative follows the lives of four college friends who come to New York seeking fame and higher tax brackets. Malcolm is an architect, Willem an actor, JB a painter. The fourth, Jude, is a litigator with a secret, painful past, and the book is primarily his story. He’s a beautiful orphan, now surrounded by loving friends, even formally adopted by Harold, his former law professor. Inside, though, he is sick with self-loathing — a veteran returned from the black site that was his childhood.

It is her second book.