Hanya Yanagihara Biography


Birthday: September 20, 1974 (Virgo)

Born In: Los Angeles, California, United States

Hanya Yanagihara is an American author and editor who is known for her novels ‘The People in the Trees’ and ‘A Little Life’. She also holds the post of a senior editor at ‘T: The New York Times Style Magazine’ besides being an author. She was selected for multiple awards after her second novel ‘A Little Life’ was published. She was one of the finalists for the National Book Award in 2015, and the novel was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (in the fiction category) in the same year. Hanya Yanagihara faces a few challenges in balancing her work as an editor with writing fiction and novels on a daily basis. She reads a lot and considers writers Kazuo Ishiguro, Hilary Mantel, and John Banville to be her biggest inspirations.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Hanya K Yanagihara

Age: 49 Years, 49 Year Old Females


father: Ronald Yanagihara

Born Country: United States

Editors Novelists

Ancestry: Japanese American

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

More Facts

education: Smith College

awards: 2015 · A Little Life - Booker Prize
2015 · A Little Life - National Book Award for Fiction
2015 · A Little Life - Goodreads Choice Awards Best Fiction

2014 · The People in the Trees - PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize
2019 · T - James Beard Award for Food Coverage in a General-Interest Publication
2001 · Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America - Lambda Literary Award for Anthologies/Fiction

Hanya Yanagihara moved to New York from Massachusetts in the late 1990s and started working as a publicist. She eventually began writing a novel, ‘The People in the Trees’ that was published in 2013. The novel was partly based on American researcher and physician Daniel Carleton Gajdusek’s life. Gajdusek had received the 1976 Nobel Prize (shared with Baruch S. Blumberg) in Physiology or Medicine. Gajdusek was later charged for molesting children. He pleaded guilty, confessing to having sex with a few male children he brought from the South Pacific. He spent one year in prison. He later served a five-year unsupervised probation in Europe, sharing his time between Netherlands and Norway. The novel was also partly based on another Nobel Laureate, Dr. Abraham Norton Perina, who was sentenced to prison after being convicted of sexual abuse of his own children. The central character of the novel, based on the aforementioned Nobel laureates, writes his memoirs while in prison. The book received good reviews, and she was praised by ‘The New York Times’ and ‘The Guardian.’
She joined ‘T: The New York Times Style Magazine’ as their editor-in-chief and faced a lot of criticism for choosing such a job after being a best-selling novelist. According to Yanagihara, people judged her for joining a fashion magazine as they felt that such a job wouldn’t do justice to her skills.
In 2015, two years after her debut book was released, Hanya Yanagihara’s second book came out. The book, titled ‘A Little Life’, was based on four friends and their lives. The story covers four different characters and their individual lives influencing each other. Yanagihara took eighteen months to complete this book while simultaneously working for ‘T: The New York Times Style Magazine.’ Just like her previous work, this book also received rave reviews from the majority of critics and top magazines and newspapers like ‘The Atlantic,’ ‘The New Yorker,’ and ‘The Wall Street Journal.’ In 2015, Yanagihara won the prestigious Kirkus Prize in Fiction and was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. She was further shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the International Dublin Literary Award in 2017.
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Family & Personal Life
Hanya K Yanagihara was born on September 20, 1974, in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Ronald Yanagihara, is a hematologist. The family moved a lot for her father’s job throughout Hanya’s childhood. She attended Punahou High School while living in Hawaii with her family. She later went to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1995.

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