A Little Life

Author: Hanya Yanagihara

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting, and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest, most ultra-Dickensian places fiction has ever traveled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light. Truly an amazement--and a great gift for its publisher.

In its simplest terms, this is a novel about the long-term friendship of four classmates from a Massachusetts liberal arts college who come to New York to make their way; unlike most such college friendships the four never lose touch over the years and decades. There is Willem, an actor from the West who becomes a Ryan Gosling-type indie film star and heartthrob; Malcolm, an Upper East Side buppie who becomes a noted architect; JB, a painter of Haitian/Brooklyn middle class descent whose Basquiat-type portraits of his friends earn him art world fame and fortune; and Jude St. Francis, a...