To Paradise

(1 customer review)

£20.00

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.

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Description

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.

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
ISBN

9781529077476

Author

Yanagihara, Hanya

Publisher

Picador

Binding

Hardback

1 review for To Paradise

  1. Sarah TURNER

    Ive been waiting 6 years for this book! Yes, the words “highly anticipated “ were never more accurate. I am one of those that read “A Little Life” ahead of its publication in 2015 and have not stopped talking about it since.
    But now is the time to stop. Because “To Paradise” is not A little Life, and nor did any of really want it to be.

    To Paradise is, in many ways, 3 novels in one. Set in the late 1800s, the 1980s and the late 21st century we are taken on an ambitious plot and structure that sets this novel apart. Yes there are some common themes in the 3 parts, but these are slowly uncovered, and I suspect if I reread I would find more.

    Overwhelming themes of love, loss, family, poverty, wealth are within the pages of all 3 parts. There are common names used in all of the stories, and locations and events. I found myself craving the familiar as I moved to part 2 and part 3, but Yanagihara forces us to let go, only to tease another potential link.

    It’s not a quick read. At over 600 pages, even with long stretches of reading it has taken me some time to finish. I needed time throughout to absorb, to try and find answers to my questions. Some of them are still unanswered. And that’s fine, because this is a book that does not tie up all the loose ends,

    It is a novel that I want my friends to read. And I will want to discuss it with them endlessly.

    Maybe it has a lot in common with A little Life after all….

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