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The People in the Trees: A Novel
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2013
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Description

Readers of exciting, challenging and visionary literary fiction--including admirers of Norman Rush's Mating, Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, and Peter Matthiessen's At Play in the Fields of the Lord--will be drawn to this astonishingly gripping and accomplished first novel. A decade in the writing, this is an anthropological adventure story that combines the visceral allure of a thriller with a profound and tragic vision of what happens when cultures collide. It is a book that instantly catapults Hanya Yanagihara into the company of young novelists who really, really matter. In 1950, a young doctor called Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub "The Dreamers," who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He scientifically proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame and the Nobel Prize, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating personal consequences.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/13/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385536783
ASIN:
B00BH0VSSA
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Hanya Yanagihara. (2013). The People in the Trees: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Hanya Yanagihara. 2013. The People in the Trees: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Hanya Yanagihara, The People in the Trees: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Hanya Yanagihara. The People in the Trees: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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31
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2f147419-e75b-de93-78d3-28e15544de29
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:55:45
Date Updated:
Nov 22, 2020 02:56:53
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Nov 22, 2020 09:02:51
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fullDescription

Readers of exciting, challenging and visionary literary fiction--including admirers of Norman Rush's Mating, Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, and Peter Matthiessen's At Play in the Fields of the Lord--will be drawn to this astonishingly gripping and accomplished first novel. A decade in the writing, this is an anthropological adventure story that combines the visceral allure of a thriller with a profound and tragic vision of what happens when cultures collide. It is a book that instantly catapults Hanya Yanagihara into the company of young novelists who really, really matter.

In 1950, a young doctor called Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub "The Dreamers," who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He scientifically proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame and the Nobel Prize, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating personal consequences.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
      • content: "One of the year's best books...Driven by Yanagihara's gorgeously complete imaginary ethnography on the one hand and, on the other, by her brilliantly detestable narrator, this debut novel is compelling on every level--morally, aesthetically, and narratively."
      • premium: False
      • source: Bustle.com
      • content: "Whether you find yourself to be a champion of Perina's bold ideas or horrified by his actions or--more realistically--feel a measure of both, Yanagihara's twisted, audacious tale is as gripping as they come."
      • premium: False
      • source: Madison Smartt Bell, author of The Color of Night and All Souls' Rising
      • content: "The People in the Trees is a Nabokovian phantasmagoria, bound to raise serious, interesting, troubling questions. Hanya Yanagihara is a writer to watch."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 29, 2013
        Driven by Yanagihara's gorgeously complete imaginary ethnography on the one hand and, on the other, by her brilliantly detestable narrator, this debut novel is compelling on every level—morally, aesthetically, and narratively. Yanagihara balances pulpy adventure tale excitement with serious consideration in unraveling her fantastical premise: a scientist, Norton Perina, discovers an island whose inhabitants may somehow have achieved immortality. Perina sets out on an anthropological mission that became more significant than he could have imagined. His tale raises interesting, if somewhat obvious, ethical questions; what can be justified in the name of science? How far does cultural relativism go? Is immortality really desirable? The book doesn't end with his astounding discovery, though. It continues with seeming banality to recount the predictable progression of academic honors that followed it and the swift and destructive attempt to commercialize Perina's findings. The story of Perina as a man emerges with less show but just as much gruesome fascination as that of his discovery and its results. Evidence of his character worms its way through the book in petulant asides and elided virulence, at first seeming incidental to the plot and then reflecting its moral themes on a small scale. Without making him a simple villain, Yanagihara shows how Perina's extraordinary circumstances allow his smothered weaknesses to blossom horribly. In the end, he reveals the full extent of his loathsomeness explicitly, unashamedly, convinced of his immutable moral right.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 15, 2013
        An instance of that rare subgenre of literature, the anthropological novel, in which Norton Perina, winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, traces the early part of his life, when he helped both discover and destroy a lost tribe. Yanagihara does everything she can to establish verisimilitude in this novel, so much so that the reader will be Googling names of characters to see if they're "really real." The movement toward ultrarealism extends to footnotes and an appendix provided by Ronald Kubodera, whose friendship with Perina extends even into the sad period when the Nobel Prize winner was convicted of sexual abuse involving some of the tribal children he brought back with him. Kubodera provides a preface in which he vigorously defends Perina, and then the narrative is turned over to Perina's memoirs, which take us back to his Midwestern upbringing, his rivalry with his brother Owen, his graduation from Harvard Medical School and almost immediate hire by the anthropologist Paul Tallent. Along with his assistant Esme Duff, Paul takes Perina to U'ivu, a constellation of remote islands in the South Pacific. Perina becomes immediately fascinated with Ivu'ivu, an island that harbors a small tribe, a number of whom are well over 100 years old. Perina traces this longevity to the eating of an opa'ivu'eke, a sacred turtle whose meat is consumed in certain ritualistic practices. Determined to find out the secret of immortality, Perina brings back three Ivu'ivuian "dreamers" with him and smuggles an opa'ivu'eke into his lab at Stanford. Yanagihara presents a cautionary tale about what can happen when Western arrogance meets primeval culture.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2013
        Debut novelist Yanagihara tackles some ambitious and deeply vexing scientific and personal conundrums. By way of protagonist Dr. Norton Perina's memoir, the story unfolds of a lost tribe of Micronesian natives who have discovered the secret of immortality. At first anthropologist Paul Tallent and associate Esme Duff invite Perina along on what they describe as an investigation into a myth, but their real hope is to confirm the tribe's existence. After many pages of overlong, obtuse, parenthetical sentences describing the island's dense jungle, readers will be relieved when the team finally happens upon the fabled tribe. Despite the language barrier, Tallent convinces the leaders that the team means them no harm; they only want to learn about tribal customs. While the anthropologists take notes, Perina snoops around until he discovers the tribe's secret to immortality and, in time, exploits and abuses it for his own despicable purposes. Perina is a delightfully black-hearted protagonist trapped inside Yanagihara's unfortunately inelegant prose.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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Readers of exciting, challenging and visionary literary fiction--including admirers of Norman Rush's Mating, Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, and Peter Matthiessen's At Play in the Fields of the Lord--will be drawn to this astonishingly gripping and accomplished first novel. A decade in the writing, this is an anthropological adventure story that combines the visceral allure of a thriller with a profound and tragic vision of what happens when cultures collide. It is a book that instantly catapults Hanya Yanagihara into the company of young novelists who really, really matter.

In 1950, a young doctor called Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu'ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub "The Dreamers," who turn out to be ...

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group