Title: A Little Life
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Publisher: Picador, 2015
I have never been one of those people --I know you aren't, either-- who feels that the love one has for a child is somehow a superior love, one more meaningful, more significant, and grander than any other.
--A Little Life page 163, Hanya Yanagihara
It took months for me to finish the book --despite the thickness and small fonts in the book-- and perhaps a life time to genuinely recover from reading this masterpiece written by American author of Hawaiian ancestry, Hanya Yanagihara. It's a bestseller, the Man Booker Prize 2015 shortlisted, trending topic in social media and book clubs, and many more and even Jon Michaud in the New Yorker said that Yanagihara's novel can also drive you mad, consume you and take over your life.
Perhaps the reason why it took me so long to finish the book was I simply just couldn't stand to finish the story. Yanagihara is a master storyteller. She can transform ordinary moments such as a day at the office, a fight between friends, everyday conversation, etc into something extraordinary. She's getting the details rights and completely described.
A Little Life tells about four friends, Malcolm, Willem, JB, and Jude in New York City after they graduate from college. They dream to chase big careers and basically they made it. Malcolm is an architect, JB becomes a painter, Willem is a popular actor and Jude as a successful lawyer.
Willem and Jude are so very close perhaps since they are both orphaned, have no money, and move into a small apartment that they can afford when they just start their career.
The story then focus on Jude, the most mysterious character among four. Jude is unknown, refuse to reveal anything about his childhood of life before meeting his friends. Apart from his successful career as a lawyer, he's actually broken, full of secrets, self-harming, slicing his arms at 2 am and makes his body a web of scar tissue.
This awesome book left me with lots of things. Never though that childhood sexual abuse could be that horrific. I got to hold my breath every time I read the parts of trauma and abuse. Serious sanction is definitely a must to be imposed to the sexual abuse defendant. No matter what.
A highly recommended novel. A life time favorite.