The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

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...her rich portraits of an array of big personalities and her affecting depiction of random, horrific death faced with varying degrees of gallantry make this tender, keening novel an impressive act of imaginative empathy.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“A powerful story of people struggling to keep their humanity in dire circumstances.”People Magazine

“Tearjerker… The Great Believers asks big questions about redemption, tragedy, and connection.”—Entertainment Weekly
 
A dazzling new 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.
 

About Rebecca Makkai

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REBECCA MAKKAI lives in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. This is her first novel.
 
Published June 19, 2018 by Viking. 431 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Great Believers
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 20 2018

...her rich portraits of an array of big personalities and her affecting depiction of random, horrific death faced with varying degrees of gallantry make this tender, keening novel an impressive act of imaginative empathy.

Read Full Review of The Great Believers | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Ellen Akins on Jun 22 2018

There are plenty of ensemble dramas out there, good ones, too. What might distinguish this one from the lot is Makkai’s focus on art and its parallels in memory.

Read Full Review of The Great Believers | See more reviews from Star Tribune

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