Hanya Yanagihara is American travel writer and novelist born on 20th September 1974. She was born in Los Angeles California to a Hawaii father Richard Yanagihara and a Korean mother born in Seoul. Due to her father’s occupation, the author frequently traveled to the United States as a child with her family living in multiple places such as New York City, Maryland, Hawaii, California, Texas, and Baltimore. Despite her frequent family relocations, Hanya Yanagihara enrolled in Punahou High School in Hawaii.
Order of Hanya Yanagihara Standalone Novels
Soon after graduating from Smith College in 1995, the author relocated to New York where she worked for some years as a publicist. The author began writing for Conde Nast Traveller in 2007, where she became an editor, and in 2015, she quit her job and joined The New York Times Style Magazine as a deputy editor.
Yanagihara first novel The People in the Trees is based on actual life experiences of a virologist Daniel Carleton Gajdusek. Upon release, the book received positive reviews globally, and it was listed as one of the best books of 2013. A Little Life was issued in March 2015 and received predominant good reviews and defied the expectations by Yanagihara agent, its editor and the author herself that the novel would not sell well.
Hanya Yanagihara has also collaborated with other authors in writing novels. She worked for hand in hand with Stephanie Wu in scripting down The Roommates, and also with Eimear Lynch in writing The Bridesmaids.
HANYA YANAGIHARA AWARDS
A Little Life was nominated for 2015 Man Booker Prize for the best fiction book category. Subsequently, the author was also listed as the finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in best fiction book category for A Little Life.
BEST Hanya Yanagihara BOOKS
These are two best books by Hanya Yanagihara The People in the Trees (2013) & A Little Life (2015)
A Little Life: In Little Life four classmates from a college in Massachusetts relocate to New York City to make their way, they are broke and are only driven by their ambition and friendship. There is Willem, a handsome young man aspiring to be an actor; then we have JB who is brave; then there is the cruel Brooklyn a painter wanting that the world will one day recognize his artistic works; Malcolm a distressed architect working at a famous firm and the intelligent and Jude who acts as their (C.O.G) Centre of Gravity.
Over the years, their relationship darkens and deepen influenced by success, addiction, and pride, and yet their biggest challenge each of them comes to discover is that Jude is a highly talented litigator but an increasingly broke man. His mind as well as his body scarred by horrible childhood, and commonly haunted by what he thinks that is a degree of trauma that he might never recover or overcome- but rather define his life for eternity.
A Little Life is one of the prolific works of Hanya Yanagihara while reading the novel; you will discover some details that the author has vividly and emphasized. For instance, the power of friendship that is depicted in this book is incredible.
Then there is the depiction of the aftermath of abuse, which is a major takeaway from this book. This is well depicted in Jude, an orphan who was raised in a monastery. Most of the time he bangs himself against the walls, cuts himself and on one harrowing scene he sets himself on fire. Above all he cannot trust anyone and does not feel that he is worthy of any love. Yanagihara has neatly weaved Jude’s abusive past into his present day narrative.
Overall the novel composure is a decent one that will keep you absorbed in this over 700-page turner novel, and you will love each detail of the book.
The People in the Trees: It is the year 1950 when Norton Perina signs a contract with Paul Tallent, an anthropologist on a journey to find a lost tribe in the island of Ivu’ivu. Their mission is successful and not only that they manage to find the lost tribe, but they also discover a group of forest dwellers whom they dub “The Dreamers” who appear to be long-lived but more doddery. Perina suspects that their cause of their longevity comes from an almost extinct turtle, and unable to resist the urge for everlasting life, he slaughters one and takes its meat back to the States.
He goes ahead to scientifically prove his thesis which earns global fame and also wins him a Nobel Prize. However, he soon finds out that everything comes at a price. Moreover, as thing take a twisted turn, his demons take control with devastating consequences.