PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BOOK OF 2018
LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE WINNER
ALA CARNEGIE MEDAL WINNER
THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD WINNER
A dazzling novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster. Named a Best Book of 2018 by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, The Seattle Times, Bustle, Newsday, AM New York, BookPage, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lit Hub, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, New York Public Library and Chicago Public Library
- ISBN-13: 9780735223530
- ISBN-10: 073522353X
- Publisher: Penguin Books
- Publish Date: June 2019
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
- Page Count: 448
Book Clubs: August 2019
★The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
A 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist, Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers is a poignant novel of the AIDS epidemic that follows a Chicago-based group of friends who are contending with the rise of the disease in the 1980s. Yale Tishman is planning a major art show, but his success is overshadowed by the deaths that are sweeping through the gay community. As he weathers the loss of colleagues and companions, his closest confidante is Fiona, the sister of his late friend Nico. Thirty years later, Fiona is searching for her daughter, Claire, in Paris. Her relationship with Claire is a fraught one, and Fiona struggles to make sense of it while continuing to process the heartbreak of the epidemic. Makkai skillfully connects the plotlines of the past and present, exploring the fears and misconceptions connected to the epidemic and demonstrating their impact on her characters. Filled with larger-than-life personalities, Makkai’s wise and compassionate novel bears witness to an important era.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Ayoola has a habit of dispatching her boyfriends, and she relies on her sister, Korede, to help her tidy up after each murder. Braithwaite’s multilayered, darkly funny novel explores the power of desire and female agency.
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
Tokarczuk, one of Poland’s most beloved writers, tackles identity, travel and the nature of home in these breathtaking short essays and stories.
Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy by Anne Boyd Rioux
Rioux provides insights into the life of Louisa May Alcott and the writing of Little Women, examining the novel’s enduring appeal and its contemporary significance.
The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher
Schumacher’s satirical take on academia—its complexities and insular nature—feels spot on, and she offers an appealing protagonist in Jason Fitger, a long-suffering English professor.