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Hanya Yanagihara - Longlist author interview

Hanya Yanagihara - Longlist author interview

In the latest in our series of interviews with Man Booker Prize 2015 longlisted authors, we speak to Hanya Yanagihara author of A Little Life.

What has it been like to be longlisted?

It's been thrilling. For one whole day, all of my colleagues at T Magazine (which is the style and culture magazine at The New York Times) looked at me with new respect and awe. It was all over the next day, but I'm honoured every day to be in the company of these authors, some of whom I've read and admired for years.

What are you working on next?

I'm not yet sure. I have two projects I'm considering -- and the embryo of a third -- but haven't committed to either.

What are you reading at the moment?

The beautiful What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell, which will be published in early 2016.

What is your favourite Man Booker-winning novel?

The Remains of the Day, followed closely by In a Free State and Wolf Hall.

A Little Life contains a lot of heartbreak, distress and trauma. Did you worry while writing about overdoing the amounts of such potent ingredients?

No. The one thing I didn't want this book to be (and the one thing that I think, for better or worse, no one will accuse it of being) is polite. I wanted everything -- the horror, the love, the distress, the compassion, the fortune, the misfortune -- to feel heightened, to be pushed beyond what's expected or even what's wise; I wanted it to live at the far ends of the spectrums of human behaviour and emotions. It should feel like a binge, somewhat, an experience that demands your attention and surrender: the small and large moments that punctuate any human life distilled into a concentrate.

Hanya Yanagihara