A Little Life: A Novel

A Little Life: A Novel

by Hanya Yanagihara

Narrated by Oliver Wyman

Unabridged — 32 hours, 51 minutes

A Little Life: A Novel

A Little Life: A Novel

by Hanya Yanagihara

Narrated by Oliver Wyman

Unabridged — 32 hours, 51 minutes

Audiobook (Digital)

$35.00
FREE With a B&N Audiobooks Subscription | Cancel Anytime
$0.00

Free with a B&N Audiobooks Subscription | Cancel Anytime

START FREE TRIAL

Already Subscribed? 

Sign in to Your BN.com Account


Listen on the free Barnes & Noble NOOK app


Related collections and offers

FREE

with a B&N Audiobooks Subscription

Or Pay $35.00

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ¿ A stunning “portrait of the enduring grace of friendship” (NPR) about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves. A masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century.

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST ¿ MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST ¿ WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZE

A 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.

Look for Hanya Yanagihara's latest bestselling novel, To Paradise.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

11/17/2014
Yanagihara follows her 2013 debut novel, The People in the Trees, with an epic American tragedy. The story begins with four college friends moving to New York City to begin their careers: architect Malcolm, artist JB, actor Willem, and lawyer Jude. Early on, their concerns are money and job related as they try to find footholds in their respective fields. Over the course of the book, which spans three decades, we witness their highs and lows as they face addiction, deception, and abuse, and their relationships falter and strengthen. The focus narrows as the story unspools—and really, this is Jude's story. Unlike his friends, who have largely ordinary lives, Jude has a horrific trauma in his past, and his inner demons are central to the story. Throughout the years, Jude struggles to keep his terrible childhood secret and to trust those who love him. He cuts himself and contemplates suicide, even as his career flourishes and his friends support him. This is a novel that values the everyday over the extraordinary, the push and pull of human relationships—and the book's effect is cumulative. There is real pleasure in following characters over such a long period, as they react to setbacks and successes, and, in some cases, change. By the time the characters reach their 50s and the story arrives at its moving conclusion, readers will be attached and find them very hard to forget. (Mar.)

From the Publisher

Praise for A Little Life:

"Spring's must-read novel... If [Yanagihara's] assured 2013 debut, The People in the Trees, a dark allegory of Western hubris, put her on the literary map, her massive new novel...signals the arrival of a major new voice in fiction."
Megan O'Grady, Vogue

“The phrase ‘tour de force’ could have been invented for this audacious novel.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This is a novel that values the everyday over the extraordinary, the push and pull of human relationships—and the book's effect is cumulative. There is real pleasure in following characters over such a long period, as they react to setbacks and successes, and, in some cases, change. By the time the characters reach their 50s and the story arrives at its moving conclusion, readers will be attached and find them very hard to forget."
Publishers Weekly 

Library Journal

01/01/2015
Yanagihara follows her debut novel, The People in the Trees, with a deceptively simple tale of four male friends, Jude, Willem, Malcolm, and JB, who meet during their college years at Ivy League institutions. The men choose to continue their journeys into adulthood together by relocating jointly to New York. As they sustain their friendships into their fifties, the author delivers tales of their loyalty, love, and support for one another. However, lying beneath the surface is an emotionally disturbing story line about Jude, a highly successful lawyer and the brightest of the four men. The horrors of Jude's victimization during his youth by the brothers of a monastery and his eventual abduction by Brother Luke, a pedophile and pimp, force him to struggle relentlessly with inner demons and a deep-seated distrust of others, with his pain manifested in constant acts of cutting. VERDICT As in her previous novel, Yanagihara fearlessly broaches difficult topics while simultaneously creating an environment that her audience will find caring and sensitive. Not all readers will embrace this work, given its intense subject. However, for those strong of stomach or bold enough to follow the characters' road of friendship, this heartbreaking story certainly won't be easily forgotten.—Shirley Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2014-12-22
Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives. Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don't share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and "Jude's race was undetermined"—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery. Two of them are straight, one is bisexual, and Jude, whose youth was unspeakably traumatic in a way that's revealed slowly over the course of the book, is gay. There isn't a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn't much plot. There aren't even many markers of what's happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don't see the neighborhood change from gritty artists' enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends' psyches and relationships, and it's utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other's affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life. The phrase "tour de force" could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176797664
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 11/01/2022
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,073
From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews