Book of the Week

The People In The Trees by Hanya Yanagihara. Photo: PA Photo/Atlantic Books.

The People In The Trees by Hanya Yanagihara. Photo: PA Photo/Atlantic Books.

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The People In The Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

Loosely based on a true story, Hanya Yanagihara’s debut novel is a shocking exploration of whether a man’s personal flaws cancel out his professional achievement.

The bulk of the novel is narrated by the Nobel Prize-winning Norton Peralta, who writes of his travels to a tiny Micronesian island, where he studied jungle-dwelling people who remained physically healthy despite living to well past 100.

He wins acclaim for his scientific discovery of the cause, and for the adoption of dozens of orphans - but sex offence accusations soon reveal his darker side.