How Hanya Yanagihara writes

Hanya Yanagihara “What any writer hopes for is that the reader will stick with you to the end of the contract and that there is a level of submission on the reader’s part. If the reader can’t quite submit it either means that you haven’t done your job in creating a fully convincing world, or it’s just not the right reader for you. I don’t think anything is helped by the writer trying to second-guess what the reader can or cannot take.”

[author Hanya Yanagihara, in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, May 29, 2015]

Hanya YanagiharaHanya Yanagihara’s second novel, A Little Life, has been described as a ‘dark’ book. Too dark for some readers? How dark is too dark? And is it up to the writer to temper the darkness, to suit reader tastes?

Was Yanagihara worried that people would stop reading? “My opinion is that readers will go with you much further than you think… and if they don’t, then they don’t. I wasn’t going to try to change the spirit of the book because I was worried about frightening off the readers. I think as long as the reader knows they are in good hands they are happy to follow.”

Read my review of Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life.

Hanya Yanagihara


See how these other novelists write:-
William Maxwell
Rose Tremain
Emma Hooper

‘A Little Life’ by Hanya Yanagihara [UK: Picador] Buy now

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Why Hanya Yanagihara isn’t afraid of upsetting the reader via @SandraDanby #amwriting