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Sessions with a Poker

Christian Lorentzen: Sessions with a Poker, 24 September 2015

A Little Life 
by Hanya Yanagihara.
Picador, 720 pp., £16.99, August 2015, 978 1 4472 9481 8
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... It’s useful​ to know on opening Hanya Yanagihara’s second novel, A Little Life – currently, a month before the winner is announced, the 3/1 favourite to win the Man Booker Prize – just how much research she did into the experiences and psychological background of Jude St Francis, the book’s central character: ‘No,’ she told an interviewer, ‘I didn’t do any research; Jude came to me fully formed ...


Malin Hay, 19 January 2023

... in the Guardian in which she described her confrontation with a one-star Goodreads reviewer. Hanya Yanagihara, whose A Little Life is weeping-video fodder for the ages, ricochets between acclaim (transcendent exploration of the darkness in human nature) and derision (gay trauma porn by a straight woman) on both Twitter and BookTok. J.K. Rowling is ...

Saint Agnes’s Lament

Christian Lorentzen: ‘Shuggie Bain’, 3 December 2020

Shuggie Bain 
by Douglas Stuart.
Picador, 448 pp., £14.99, August, 978 1 5290 1927 8
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... prizes in recent decades. The jacket copy invites comparisons to Édouard Louis, Frank McCourt and Hanya Yanagihara. (Alan Hollinghurst is also present, but the implied comparison seems to be stylistic rather than thematic.) Edward St Aubyn and Karl Ove Knausgaard, with their bad dads, would also have been apt. The critic Sam Sacks has called such books ...

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