Thursday, 15 March 2018

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Published in 2015, this 720 pages long novel  was long listed for the Man Booker award. Though dark and disturbing ,  this book will most likely  change  some perceptions of  your life .It will leave you   with  more positive  and compassionate attitude towards persons who  have been  subjected to  physical and emotional abuse  and trauma as a child. And   you feel   with some depth  that a victim of child abuse has to live with   scar and pain for the rest of his or her life.  “Hyenas”  in the shape of memories  of those traumatic incidents  torment him or her  frequently.
               Though  , at the initial stages , the book gives an impression as if it were the story of four friends, it slowly emerges out to be mainly  the story of  an emotionally and physically damaged man , Jude St. Francis. The novel is an exploration of  the depths of his pain and shame. As an infant,he was deposited in a bag near a monastery and was raised by monks. Over the years,he  was subjected to  repeated   abuse by a number of  sadists. He has scars on his back  , and his legs are badly damaged.
                 Yes, it is also a book about Jude’s  three friends and their friendship and support  to him and to each other. His friend ,  Willem , gives  him  support and loving kindness. But there is a limit of what friends can do when  you have the memory and shame of an abused childhood.
                 Jude  excels in his profession as a corporate litigator. He has an excellent character , and his suffering  is the foundation of his strong character.
    Where does that leave Jude?  He inflicts harm on himself by  cutting his  flesh  with razor  blade  whenever   the  mental  pain and shame become unbearable. And that seems to give him a temporary relief.
     The novel is dark , sad and disturbing  , but once you start reading it , you get hooked on to it , and you end the book by feeling the  beauty of a little life that Jude  represents.
      I recommend you to read this  book.

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