À Chicago, dans les années 1980, au coeur du quartier de Boystown, Yale Tishman et sa bande d'amis - artistes, activistes, journalistes ou professeurs... - vivent la vie libre qu'ils s'étaient toujours imaginée. Lorsque l'épidémie du sida frappe leur communauté, les rapports changent, les liens se brouillent et se transforment. Peu à peu, tout s'effondre autour de Yale, et il ne lui reste plus que Fiona, la petite soeur de son meilleur ami Nico.
Du Chicago des années 1980 au Paris d'aujourd'hui, Rebecca Makkai nous offre une épopée puissante sur le pouvoir de l'amitié face à la tragédie.
1999. Dans les plaines du Midwest, la vaste demeure de Laurelfield est témoin d'événements qui vont bouleverser la vie de ses propriétaires ancestraux, les fantasques Devohr. Zee, l'universitaire marxiste, voit son couple apparemment sans histoires mis en péril par la femme de son demi-frère. Son beau-père Bruce, quant à lui, rassemble des provisions face à l'imminence de l'an 2000. Et puis il y a Violet, l'aïeule, qui se serait suicidée quelque part dans cette grande maison et dont le portrait est toujours accroché dans la salle à manger.
1955. Grâce et son mari violent, George, emménagent à Laurelfield. Rapidement, Grâce remarque des détails étranges qu'elle interprète comme des présages. Sa vie prend peu à peu une nouvelle direction...
1929. Laurelfield est une colonie bohème et hétéroclite d'artistes où se retrouve la fine fleur de l'intelligentsia de l'époque. Entre création artistique et débauche, le petit groupe se divertit sous la surveillance du portrait de Violet Devohr, dont le fantôme hanterait les lieux.
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS WINNER OF THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD - BARBARA GITTINGS LITERATURE AWARD FINALIST FOR THE LA TIMES FICTION AWARD 'Stirring, spellbinding and full of life' Tea Obreht, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger's Wife In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup: bringing 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, he finds his partner is infected, and that he might even have the virus himself. 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 epidemic, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways the AIDS crisis affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. Yale and Fiona's stories unfold in incredibly moving and sometimes surprising ways, as both struggle to find goodness in the face of disaster.
The acclaimed author of The Borrower returns with a dazzlingly original, mordantly witty novel about the secrets of an old-money family and their turn-of-the-century estate, Laurelfield.
Meet the Devohrs: Zee, a Marxist literary scholar who detests her parents' wealth but nevertheless finds herself living in their carriage house; Gracie, her mother, who claims she can tell your lot in life by looking at your teeth; and Bruce, her step-father, stockpiling supplies for the Y2K apocalypse and perpetually late for his tee time. Then there's Violet Devohr, Zee's great-grandmother, who they say took her own life somewhere in the vast house, and whose massive oil portrait still hangs in the dining room.
Violet's portrait was known to terrify the artists who resided at the house from the 1920s to the 1950s, when it served as the Laurelfield Arts Colony - and this is exactly the period Zee's husband, Doug, is interested in. An out-of-work academic whose only hope of a future position is securing a book deal, Doug is stalled on his biography of the poet Edwin Parfitt, once in residence at the colony. All he needs to get the book back on track - besides some motivation and self-esteem - is access to the colony records, rotting away in the attic for decades. But when Doug begins to poke around where he shouldn't, he finds Gracie guards the files with a strange ferocity, raising questions about what she might be hiding. The secrets of the hundred-year house would turn everything Doug and Zee think they know about her family on its head - that is, if they were to ever uncover them.
In this brilliantly conceived, ambitious, and deeply rewarding novel, Rebecca Makkai unfolds a generational saga in reverse, leading the reader back in time on a literary scavenger hunt as we seek to uncover the truth about these strange people and this mysterious house. With intelligence and humor, a daring narrative approach, and a lovingly satirical voice, Rebecca Makkai has crafted an unforgettable novel about family, fate and the incredible surprises life can offer.
FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE IN FICTION WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION WINNER OF THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD Soon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler A page turner . . . An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what its like to live during times of crisis. --The New York Times Book Review 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 Nicos funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nicos 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. The Great Believers has become a critically acclaimed, indelible piece of literature; it was selected as one of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, a Buzzfeed Book of the Year, a Skimm Reads pick, and a pick for the New York Public Librarys Best Books of the year.
Lucy, célibataire pas encore trentenaire, est bibliothécaire dans une petite ville perdue du Middle West. Ian, dix ans, fils unique de chrétiens fondamentalistes homophobes, est son plus fidèle lecteur. Un beau matin, elle le découvre sur son lieu de travail réfugié parmi les livres. Contre toute attente, elle ne va pas le ramener tout de suite à ses parents. Ensemble, ils vont parcourir plusieurs États de cette Amérique post 11-Septembre. Pour ce gamin rêveur, c'est la découverte du vaste monde ; pour elle, l'occasion de s'interroger sur ses origines russes, le déracinement de ses ancêtres et leurs aspirations à plus de liberté.
Rebecca Makkai signe ici un premier roman humaniste et original en forme de road-book. Une balade épique et onirique qui décortique les traumatismes d'une nation faite d'immigrants, de fugueurs et de chapardeurs... d'identités.
Lucy Hull, a 26-year-old children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favourite patron, 10-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embark on an improvised road trip from Missouri to Vermont.