The Number One Sunday Times Bestseller and one of Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of 2022.
From Hanya Yanagihara, author of the modern classic A Little Life, To Paradise is a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia.
'Three stories far apart in space and time but each unique in their power to summon the joy and complexity of love, the pain of loss . . . It’s rare that you get the opportunity to review a masterpiece, but To Paradise, definitively, is one.' – The Observer
'Awe-inspiring . . . The characters are so well drawn and the plot so well paced, I couldn’t put it down.' – Daily Telegraph
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.
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.
To Paradise is a fin-de-siecle novel of marvellous literary effect, but above all it is a work of emotional genius. The power of this novel is driven by Yanagihara’s understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love – partners, lovers, children, friends, family and even our fellow citizens – and the pain that ensues when we cannot.
'This magisterial follow-up to A Little Life offers three books in one . . . Yanagihara weighs up damage and privilege - social, emotional, political, colonial in a gripping, immersive ride through alternative Americas.' – The Guardian 'Best Reads For Summer'
After the painfully affecting [A Little Life] To Paradise gives us three stories far apart in space and time but each unique in their power to summon the joy and complexity of love, the pain of loss. I’m not sure I’ve ever missed the world of a book as much as I miss To Paradise now I’ve left it.
To Paradise is a transcendent, visionary novel of stunning scope and depth. A novel so layered, so rich, so relevant, so full of the joys and terrors – the pure mystery – of human life, is not only rare, it’s revolutionary.
Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
Hanya Yanagihara's To Paradise is as good as War and Peace
Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story