The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai, is definitely one of the most profound novels I’ve read recently. It’s focus is on the height of the AIDS epidemic of the mid 1980’s and centers around relationships that comprised the gay community in Chicago at the time. The story is complex, moving and devastating, exploring a culture most people are loathe to try to understand, thinking it messy, immoral, and easier to ignore. Named one of the ten best books of 2018 by the NY Times, The Great Believers is profound, unforgettable, and beautifully sad.
— Barbara Morrow
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 it's 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 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. 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 Library's Best Books of the year.