When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome-but that will define his life forever. In rich and resplendent prose, Hanya Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.
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"Oliver Wyman delivers an amazing performance of Hanya Yanagihara's [THE PEOPLE IN THE TREES] disturbing new novel. Short-listed for the Mann Booker Prize, A LITTLE LIFE centers on longtime friends Jude, Willem, Malcolm, and JB. Jude, whose unspeakable childhood abuses contribute to his self-destructive tendencies, is the pivotal figure. He's beautiful and brilliant, and the others circle him as moths to the flame. Willem is a struggling white actor, JB is an African-American painter with a sharp tongue, Malcolm is an unfulfilled biracial architect, and Jude's race is undetermined. We follow the friends from college into their 50s, and Wyman's subtle vocal changes reflect their disenchantments as they age. Thanks to Wyman's sensitivity, this introspective examination of male friendship, race, sexuality, and love truly resonates. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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