Bestselling author of A Little Life and To Paradise and editor in chief of T
Photo credit: Jenny Westerhoff
About Hanya Yanagihara
Hanya Yanagihara is a critically acclaimed and bestselling novelist and the editor in chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Following the publication of her debut novel, The People in the Trees–an anthropological adventure story and examination of cultural collision, colonization, and moral ambiguity–The New York Times declared Yanagihara “a writer to marvel at.” Her second work, A Little Life, was a National Book Award finalist, a Man Booker Prize finalist, and Kirkus Prize recipient. It appeared on numerous best books lists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Economist, Newsweek, and the Huffington Post among others. An astonishing odyssey of friendship, trauma, and the limits of solace; it has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon. Her latest novel, To Paradise, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. It is 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 her presentations, Hanya Yanagihara explores the themes of her novels as well as her journey to becoming a writer. Having published her first book at age 38 while still working full-time, Yanagihara encourages audiences to live creatively while balancing the demands of everyday life.
The Life of A Little Life
Friendship, trauma, an alternative adulthood, the limits of love and healing: Yanagihara will speak about the themes she explores in her bestselling novel, A Little Life.
Starting a Creative Life in Mid-Life
Writing a novel at any age is difficult. But it's also possible. Yanagihara was 38 when her first book was published and working a full-time job as a magazine editor--as she was when her second book was published two years later. It's hard to do both: but it's also necessary . So how do you live a creative life when you have to earn a living—and how do you write when you feel you're all on your own?
Praise for Hanya Yanagihara
All of us are still basking in the afterglow of our wonderful experience with Hanya Yanagihara! The visit was a complete success. The conversation style event worked beautifully. She and Ania Spyra had a very natural rapport, and Hanya’s combination of brilliance and humor were so engaging.
For our students who had studied her books, this was an especially meaningful experience. I think many of them were expecting someone too brilliant and creative to be approachable, and Hanya’s warm, down-to-earth attitude both at the public event and in the Q&A with the class was a lovely surprise for them. In short, she was a big, big hit with everyone!— Butler University
Praise for To Paradise
Remarkable…The emotional impact of this novel is less visceral than A Little Life but only because the author’s scope is so vast and her dexterity so dazzling….To Paradise demonstrates the inexhaustible ingenuity of an author who keeps shattering expectations….she explores the dream of freedom that lures all these characters to risk everything for a paradise they desire but can barely envision. No matter the setting – past present or future – To Paradise stems from the hypnotic confluence of Yanagihara’s skills. She speaks softly, with the urgency of a whisper. She draws us into the most intimate sympathy with these characters while placing them in crises that feel irresistibly compelling.— Ron Charles, The Washington Post
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 (cover review)
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
To Paradise is a novel of the highest order. Yanagihara writes with elegance, evoking emotion and rendering believable characters who move the plot. Her perceptive eye is evident in the three separate settings, placing the reader in each time frame through multiple narratives, which she orchestrates with great acuity. Themes of love and belonging reign in Book I and Book II. In Book III, fear trumps love for a mimesis of reality, hitting close to home for all of us right now.— Wayne Catan, USA Today
Praise for A Little Life
Astonishing.— The Atlantic
Elemental, irreducible.— The New Yorker
Exquisite…. It’s not hyperbole to call this novel a masterwork—if anything that word is simply just too little for it.— San Francisco Chronicle
A book unlike any other…. A Little Life asks serious questions about humanism and euthanasia and psychiatry and any number of the partis pris of modern western life…. A devastating read that will leave your heart, like Grinch’s, a few sizes larger.— The Guardian
[A Little Life] lands with a real sense of occasion: the arrival of a major new voice in fiction…. Yanagihara’s achievement has less to do with size… than with the breadth and depth of its considerable power, which speaks not to the indomitability of the spirit, but to the fragility of the self.— Vogue
Praise for The People in the Trees
Exhaustingly inventive and almost defiant in its refusal to offer redemption or solace…. As for Yanagihara, she is a writer to marvel at.— The New York Times Book Review
Haunting…. A standout novel… thrilling.— The Wall Street Journal
Feels like a National Geographic story by way of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness…. The world Yanagihara conjures up, full of ‘dark pockets of mystery’, is magical.— The Times (London)
Fascinating and multilayered…. [Yanagihara’s] storytelling is masterful… Hugely ambitious and entertaining.— The Boston Globe
Books by Hanya Yanagihara
Media About Hanya Yanagihara
- 212 572-2013
- Hanya Yanagihara travels from New York, NY
“To Paradise boldly rewrites America’s past, present and future. Featuring three distinct fin-de-siècle periods — 1893, 1993 and 2093 — the result is a spectacular tripartite fiction. Here is an alternative country in which profound questions of family, inheritance, sovereignty, identity and, above all, the meaning of freedom, are dazzlingly held up to the light….To Paradise is, like [A Little Life], a complex work of intertwined human relationships, but it is also sublimely readable….The finale of To Paradise is a masterstroke, simultaneously thriller-esque and intensely moving.”
– The Financial Times