Well this weekend I have been through the ringer. I have spent pretty much three days being thrilled, traumatised, horrified, weeping with joy, weeping with rage, just weeping and all in all being completely thrown about by an emotional rollercoaster in book form. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduced you to Hanya Yangihara’s second novel A Little Life, which everyone seems to be going bonkers for over in America…
Having now read it, I can completely see why. It ruined me. Now some people might think that is a bad thing but frankly I believe being ruined by a book now and again is good for the soul, plus from all the cracks you can see in the spine (I know, I know – but it was so heavy) you can see that there were several moments where I ruined it too, in a loving way. So why am I not instantly tapping my little fingers off writing a post now and just giving you an update, good question, I have two reasons behind this. Firstly, the book isn’t out in the UK until August. Secondly and more importantly, I really, really need to let this book settle with me as there is so much to talk about and also I need to put myself back together after it broke me for the fourth or fifth time at almost midnight last night when I finished it.
I was on the blower to that Catherine Hall earlier and we were swapping book suggestions (she is reading Marion Coutt’s The Iceberg about her time with her husband when he was terminally ill with a brain tumour as Granny Savidge was, so I am umming and ahhing about it) and I couldn’t encapsulate it. My exact words were… ‘It is a book about someone who has a tragic and difficult life and those who come in and out of that life for good or bad, yet it is also a book about love, grief, art, culture, sexuality, abuse, society, class, joy, despair, friendship, family, education, New York and more.’ Yep, that is a lot to think about and try and compress into book thoughts of any kind, though as you will see I have put many a page marker throughout. (Purple for bits that made me think or were amazingly written, grey for where the publisher had noted particular prose highlights, blue for where I cried – some a small weep, some ugly crying – I can’t remember what the orange one was for!) So I need to let it all sink in a bit more, I felt like I had a book hangover this morning.
Anyway, I thought I would tell you so that if you can get it then do, if you can’t get it then pre-order it and if you have read it let me know. My thoughts in full in a month or two, it’ll take me about that long to get over it all… Then I might just be able to pick up her debut.