BOOK REPORT: THE PEOPLE IN THE TREES BY HANYA YANAGIHARA
Let's pretend this was my Book-O-Ganza selection! 😬
- •I first read about this title through @offtheshelfofficial 's 8 Triumphant Novels of Scientific Discovery list:8 Triumphant Novels of Scientific Discovery. I want to read all of these, and also highly recommend the list entry Euphoria by Lily King, a fictionalized account of Margaret Mead's early career that's rooted in the complicated facts of her romantic and professional relationships. Another novel about cultural anthropology I really like is Far Afield by Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted).
- •This was Yanagihara's debut novel and my big spring break read.Now I really want to dive into A Little Life, her National Book Award-nominated title from last year. So, yes, I really liked it!
- •It is written as the memoirs of biologist and Nobel laureate Norton Perina who has had an illustrious career and a scandalous fall from grace.His life's work begins when he joins an anthropological research expedition to a little Micronesian archipelago where a segment of the population lives well into the triple digits. Perina figures out why and documents the aftermath of his discoveries and subsequent trips back to the U'ivu Islands.
- •I've been thinking quite a bit lately about how/whether/when we separate art that moves or inspires us from the flawed artists who create it. This book asks us the same kinds of questions:The jacket queries: "If a great man does unspeakable things, is he still a great man? How do we reconcile a person's failings with his genius?"
- •Yanagihara's prose is rich and beautiful. Anthony Doerr wrote a blurb for the book and if you liked his style in All the Light We Cannot See, I think you'll like hers, too.
- •If you're looking for likable characters or an optimistic rendering of human frailty, this is not the book for you.I've heard that A Little Life is emotionally wrenching and this one definitely packs a punch, too. I know I'll be thinking about it for a long time.