Nominated by:

Wojewódzka Biblioteka Publiczna im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego w Łodzi, Poland

Free Library of Philadelphia, USA

Multnomah County Library, Portland, USA

Richmond Public Library, USA

San Diego Public Library, USA

The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Doubleday, USA

Published in the UK by Picador

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara      

2017 Shortlist!

Comments from the judges

This is an extraordinary, unforgettable book. Bold in its ambition and style, Yanigihara’s book is a skilled work of expertly crafted prose, delicately rendered characters and brutal clarity. In this story of trauma, love, family and the fragility of the human body and the human spirit she asks: Can love heal all? The question – and her answer – is one that will forever haunt the reader of this astonishing work.

About the book

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.

About the author

Hanya Yanagihara lives in New York City.

A Little Life won the Kirkus Prize, was a National Book Award Finalist and a Man Booker Prize Finalist.

Librarians’ Comments

An epic story about love and friendship in the 21st century.

This heartbreaking work of fiction is long, but not slow; a story about loss, trauma and intensely emotional relationships that is constantly raved about by library patrons.

This is a beautiful and terrible saga about friendship and secrets. Dark and deeply upsetting, Jude’s tormented past is gradually revealed as his adult life is profoundly affected at every stage by both physical and emotional scars. While the book ostensibly centers on the adult lives of four friends living in New York City, the character we come to know inside and out is Jude, the trauma he has suffered, and how that trauma affects his adult relationships.

The novel allows readers to understand how a person who wishes to burn a piece of  his/her body might feel and how he or she wonders how this should be arranged to look like an accident.

Four former college classmates move to New York to begin their professional lives. All are bound by strong bonds but only Jude remains a mystery. No one knows anything about his childhood or how he came to damage his legs. Even his sexuality is in question. As friends and colleagues try to draw closer, Jude begins to unravel. A haunting portrayal of how memory can govern our lives.

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