A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

image

I cried (actually wailed) through the majority of A Little Life. That’s around 700 tear stained pages.

I threw myself into the New York lives of a college friendship circle: JB the outrageous artist, Malcolm the reserved architect, Willem the handsome actor/waiter and the mysterious Jude, cerebral lawyer. I followed them as they tried to make it in the big bad city; a whirl of parties, drugs, ramshackle apartments and temp jobs.

As the novel unfurls, we zoom in on Jude St Francis, his friendships, family, and his past. Emotionally damaged and physically disabled, Jude struggles through life. As do we- there were some parts of this book that were so harrowing that I skimmed over passages or had to put it down.

Critics have called the novel melodramatic or sentimental. Maybe it is- there’s something dramatic, even cinematic about how Yanagihara writes: flashbacks, visual close ups, monologues.

All the characters are also unfeasibly successful, and the cast split into either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. But for better or worse, they are now my friends too. And excessive or not, by the end of it I felt like I’d lost someone.

Read: to feel grateful for your life. Or if you’re down for crying. A lot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s