Here’s everything we know about A Little Life author Hanya Yanagihara’s highly-anticipated new novel, To Paradise, which will be released in 2022.
Jude. Willem. JB. Malcolm. Anyone who has read A Little Life will have felt very involved in the complicated lives of these four fictional friends. It’s also likely that you cried, and cried and cried some more while turning the pages of Hanya Yanagihara’s Booker Prize and Women’s Prize shortlisted 2015 masterpiece. And if you’ve ever spotted someone reading their copy of A Little Life on the Tube, you’ve probably felt obliged to pass them a tissue to dry their eyes with (in pre-pandemic days, obviously).
It’s been six years since the bestseller was released, and fans have since been impatiently waiting for Yanagihara’s next novel to get lost in. So we’re very excited to share the news that her long-awaited new release has just been announced – and it sounds brilliant…
To Paradise is a novel that spans three centuries and three different versions of “the American experiment”, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia.
In a press statement released by Picador, the synopsis reads: “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.”
It continues: “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.”
Sound pretty amazing, right?
Explaining what we can expect from the book in more detail, Ravi Mirchandani, editor-in-chief of Picador, said: “We at Picador are delighted to be publishing Hanya’s extraordinary new novel, an immensely powerful fictional exploration of the issue of who paradise is for − for any idea of paradise crucially also involves an idea of who must be excluded from it.
“It is very much a novel about the soul, the past and the future, of the United States. But, at a time when political issues of diversity and inclusion engage us as much as those of whom we wish to − or should − exclude from our homes, our public places and our nation-states, it engages with issues of race and sexuality, imperialism and disease that are central to all our lives, wherever in the world we happen to live.
“And, like A Little Life, it is not only a novel of ideas, but one of plot and of character, as deeply moving and powerfully propulsive as it is haunting and thought-provoking. I am in awe of Hanya’s achievement in writing this novel; we are very proud indeed to be publishing it.”
To Paradise will be published simultaneously in the UK and the US on 11 January 2022.