To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
You might remember Hanya Yanagihara as the writer of the widely discussed and much-loved ‘A Little Life’, this time she returns with another huge feat of storytelling, but a very different one.
To Paradise is divided into three magnificent parts and is set in three distinct time zones, each of which imagine an 1890s alt-history, a 1990s AIDS crisis story, and a grim 2090s post-pandemics (plural) futuristic world. Each part is also predominately set in New York and features one house on Washington Square.
I’ve seen more than someone describe it as a symphony, and that’s not a bad analogy. Notes and themes (involving people, relationships and countries) start in the past and then get stronger or weaker and are added to in the later sections. Characters share names, lineage, interweave relationships, and force you to think about love, politics, progress, regress, myth, and science - all through just bloody great storytelling.
Yes it’s huge, but it’s also a great American novel. It's unmissable.