I’ve been reading voraciously for the last few weeks. I know I promised to write about Godel Escher Bach, but… right now I’d rather discuss The People in the Trees, Hanya Yanagihara’s debut novel and my latest literary conquest.
The People in the Trees follows the story of Dr. Abraham ‘Norton’ Perina, who is invited on a research expedition to a fictional Micronesian country. There, Perina meets a lost tribe of islanders deep in the unexplored jungle. He also accidentally stumbles upon a rare species of turtle that, when eaten, allows you to live forever. The discovery brings Perina fame and glory — even a Nobel Prize — but the doctor’s name is eventually tarnished when one of the many children he adopted from the island accuses him of sexual assault.
Yanagihara’s book is both captivating and troubling. It’s also, apparently, inspired by a real guy: D. Carleton Gajdusek, 1976…
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