No Rose Without a Thorn
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Published in: March-April 2016 issue.


A Little LifeA Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara
Doubleday. 736 pages, $30.


A   NOVEL about the “little life” of a handsome, brilliant, successful New Yorker who says “I don’t think happiness is for me” and cuts himself regularly was bound to attract attention. Hanya Yanagihara’s second novel, A Little Life, was a bestseller and was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award. Critics, however, were sharply divided. A few extolled the emotionally demanding narrative—forget about a happy ending!—while others dismissed it as a manipulative attempt to impress readers solely by foiling their narrative expectations.

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