What connects To Paradise author Hanya Yanagihara to the CIA and a book on baby names? | Hanya Yanagihara

A great life

Hanya Yanagihara’s final epic, To Paradise spans 1893-2093 in imaginary altered states of America. It also follows on from 2015’s ubiquitous A Little Life, which traumatized and fascinated readers in equal measure. (It was 96 in the Guardian’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century.)

To Paradise author Hanya Yanagihara also wrote A Little Life… Photograph: Getty Images

Downtown Man

The cover of the American edition of A Little Life featured a photo of a seemingly desperate or suffering man, but it is titled Orgasmic Man and is from a 1960s-themed series by photographer Peter Hujar, who chronicled the intrigues and explosions of life in downtown New York.

American photographer Peter Hujar poses for a portrait in May 1986 in Bayonne, New Jersey
…whose cover photo was taken by Peter Hujar… Photograph: Getty Images

The name game

Hujar, who died in 1987 of AIDS-related pneumonia, is the subject of a recent book by Linda Rosenkrantz. On December 18, 1974, she asked Hujar to document everything that had happened to her in one day – the couple then discussed it, recording their conversation. The results were transcribed in Peter Hujar’s Day. Rosenkrantz is also a pioneer in the baby naming industry: in 1988, she and Pamela Redmond Satran published the Beyond Jennifer & Jason naming guide.

Pamela Redmond Satran
…subject of a book by Linda Rosenkrantz, who published Beyond Jennifer & Jason with Pamela Redmond Satran (above)… Photograph: Getty Images

Get short-ty

Redmond Satran’s 2005 novel Younger, about a woman in her forties who pretends to be younger to get an entry-level publishing job, was made into a TV series by Darren Star (Sex and the City, Emily in Paris et al), with Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff and Miriam Shor. The latter had a role in the Reagan-era spy drama The Americans, created by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg.

Joe Weisberg
…whose novel Younger was televised and starred Miriam Shor, who was also in The Americans, created by Joe Weisberg… Photograph: Getty Images

To a T

Joe’s journalist brother, Jacob, is the co-founder of podcast company Pushkin Industries. Jacob’s wife is Deborah Needleman who, from 2012 to 2016, served as the editor of The New York Times’ T Magazine. In addition to writing novels that tear your heart out, Yanagihara is a journalist. in 2017, she took over the management of T.

Deborah Needleman
…whose brother Jacob is married to Deborah Needleman, editor of T Magazine before Hanya Yanagihara. Photograph: Getty Images

Pairing Notes

Read Speak is 1968 by Linda Rosencrantz “reality novel”, in which she recorded and transcribed hours of conversations with friends, documenting more lives of bohemian New York in the 1960s.

To eat Instagram account @toparadisenovel followed details of the book, including a recipe for “grilled raccoon with lovage and oatmeal.” Delight.

black and white cartoon bunnies going down their holes through a red line

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