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From the author of the classic A LITTLE LIFE, a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia.
In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much
older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist's damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him-and solve the mystery of her husband's disappearances.
These three sections are joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another: A townhouse in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village; illness, and treatments that come at a terrible cost; wealth and squalor; the weak and the strong; race; the definition of family, and of nationhood; the dangerous righteousness of the powerful, and of revolutionaries; the longing to find a place in an earthly
paradise, and the gradual realization that it can't exist. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness.
TO PARADISE is a fin de siecle novel of marvelous literary effect, but above all it is a work of emotional genius. The great power of this remarkable novel is driven by Yanagihara's understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love - partners, lovers, children, friends, family and even our fellow citizens - and the pain that ensues when we cannot.
PRAISE FOR TO PARADISE
'To Paradise is a transcendent, visionary novel of stunning scope and depth. A novel so layered, so rich, so relevant, so full of the joys and terrors-the pure mystery-of human life, is not only rare, it's revolutionary.' Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours
'Hanya Yanagihara interrogates love and history in a novel that feels prophetic, but in fact rises from the oldest of human themes: ardor, shame, and our most profound protective instincts. She builds a future narrated by vulnerable yet sturdy Charlie, a merciful heart burning for all creation. To Paradise is a world of its own, a major work, and one of the rare books equipped to tell us what it means to be an American.' Louise Erdrich, Author of Pulitzer Prize winning The Night Watchman and New York Times Bestseller, The Sentence
'Sometimes literature takes time to digest momentous events... Occasionally, though, a masterpiece emerges from the white heat of the moment: The Great Gatsby, The Decameron, The Waste Land. There's something miraculous about reading To Paradise while the coronavirus crisis is still playing out around us, the dizzying sense that you're immersed in a novel that will come to represent the age, its obsessions and anxieties. It's rare that you get the opportunity to review a masterpiece, but To Paradise, definitively, is one.' - The Observer
'We are given a patriarch, wealth, children; there is an arranged marriage, an inheritance, a true love, a class divide and a significant twist. Deftly paced and judiciously detailed, the tale makes hay with the conventions of the 19th-century novel. But that's not all. With breathtaking audacity Yanagihara rewrites America . . . Yanagihara masterfully repurposes themes, situations and motifs . . . This ambitious novel tackles major American questions and answers them in an original, engrossing way. It has a major feel. But it is finally in [its] minor moments that Yanagihara shows greatness.' Gish Jen, The New York Times Book Review
'Tour de force...Yanagihara changes the novel landscape: What is different, we accept; what is familiar, we recognize. To Paradise resonates because of its exploration of human relationships and the dismantling of preconceived notions. Biases and hatreds lurk and linger, emerging periodically to remind us that while one form of discrimination may have been eliminated, others remain embedded in our institutions, and cannot easily be eradicated; in the end, threads of prejudice bind all three parts. And yet To Paradise is rich with characters that live and love, with few boundaries. Yanagihara asks us to consider an alternative America that could have existed at any point in history if other decisions had been made, and that might still prevail if we do the right thing.' - Oprah Daily
'Gigantic, strange, exquisite, terrifying, and replete with mystery.' - Kirkus Reviews
'An extraordinary novel; powerfully imagined and deeply moving.' - The Bookseller