The People in the Trees
The stunning debut novel, from the author of A Little Life.
It is 1950 when Norton Perina, a young doctor, embarks on an expedition to a remote Micronesian island in search of a rumoured lost tribe. There he encounters a strange group of forest dwellers who appear to have attained a form of immortality that preserves the body but not the mind. Perina uncovers their secret and returns with it to America, where he soon finds great success. But his discovery has come at a terrible cost, not only for the islanders, but for Perina himself.
Hanya Yanagihara's The People in the Trees marks the debut of a remarkable new voice in American fiction.
The world Yanagihara conjures up, full of dark pockets of mystery, is magical.
Power and its abuses are at the heart of this richly imagined novel . . . In structure and subject, The People in the Trees pays tribute to Vladimir Nabokov's two masterpieces: Pale Fire and Lolita . . . Perina's voice – wry, superior, unthinkingly cruel – is one of the key triumphs of the book. Another triumph is the astonishingly thorough invention of Yanagihara's Micronesian country.
Katie Kitamura, Guardian