Do you like to cry? Have you been feeling too good about your life? Well, do I have the book for you! Seriously though, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara will stick with you for a long time. It’s a massive, dark, and elegant novel that follows a four men who meet in a expensive college. Haitain artist J.B. spoiled by his family, mixed-race Malcolm on his way to being an architect, kind-hearted actor Willem, and beautiful Jude, a brilliant lawyer who is also a cutter. But as you get lulled into reading about their 20s and 30s, the book’s focus shifts to Jude, and the many horrible things that happened to him during his childhood and who has kept all of it buried as deep as he can. Yanagihara reveals it all very slowly, nor does she do it gratuitously. Jude’s suffering feels real and it’s the love of those he lets in as close as he can that keeps him alive.
I struggled to write about A Little Life. It’s like I’m reporting on my friends. I suffered with them, I wept with them, and I felt the glimpses of happiness.