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Praise for The Great Believers

“Busily Dickensian, her prose a relentless engine mowing back and forth across decades… missing no chance to remind us what’s at stake… Warmly dimmensional… Compulsively readable.”—The San Francisco Chronicle

“Symphonic… Makkai has full command of her multi-generational perspective, and by its end, The Great Believers offers a grand fusion of the past and the present, the public and the personal. It’s remarkably alive despite all the loss it encompasses. And it’s right on target in addressing how the things that the world throws us feel gratuitously out of step with the lives we think we’re leading.”The Chicago Tribune

“Makkai’s their novel, a devastating contemplation of love and loss, evokes the epidemic’s horrors, yes, but also the profound acts of generosity it sparked.”O, The Oprah Magazine

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

“Sure to become a classic Chicago novel…a deft, harrowing novel that’s as beautiful as its cover.”Chicago Review of Books

“Makkai has created a moving story about Chicago and Paris, the past and present, the young men lost to AIDS and the ones who survived. And just as her novel evokes art’s power to commemorate the departed, The Great Believers is itself a poignant work of memoir.”—Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Sympathizer

“This expansive, huge-hearted novel conveys the scale of the trauma that was the early AIDS crisis, and conveys, too, the scale of the anger and love that rose up to meet it. Rebecca Makkai shows us characters who are devastated but not defeated, who remain devoted, in the face of death, to friendship and desire and joyful, irrepressible life. I loved this book.”—Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

The Great Believers kept me up reading late into the night, and I’d wake up thinking about Makkai’s vibrant, complex, and deeply human characters. This is an immersive, heartbreaking novel—I loved it.”—Maggie Shipstead, author of Astonish Me

The Great Believers is a magnificent novel—well imagined, intricately plotted, and deeply felt, both humane and human. It unfurls like a peony: you keep thinking it can’t get any more perfect, and it does. A stunning feat.”
– Rabih Alameddine, author of
The Angel of History and Koolaids: The Art of War

“Stirring, spellbinding, and full of life.”
—Tea Obreht, author of
The Tiger’s Wife

“In the remarkable The Great Believers, Rebecca Makkai conjures up a time as startling as a dream and, in its extremity, achingly familiar to us now, close enough to hold. A tender, sly, immersive, irreverent, life force of a book.”
—Paul Lisicky, author of
The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship

“Rebecca Makkai’s novel The Great Believers has stolen my heart. Crossing decades and lives, love and loss, art, and the long lasting legacy of AIDS, the novel is a brilliant triumph of empathy and intimacy between friends.”
—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of 
The Small Backs of Children

“The Great Believers is by turns funny, harrowing, tender, devasting, and always hugely suspenseful.  It reminds us, poignantly, of how many people, mostly young, often brilliant, were lost to the AIDS epidemic, and of how those who survived were marked by that struggle.  Rebecca Makkai is a wonderfully empathetic writer and this novel shows her at the height of her powers.”
—Margot Livesey,
New York Times bestselling author of Mercury 

The Great Believers is a sprawling, wildly ambitious novel.  Rebecca Makkai brings to life a large cast of characters, and weaves together the threads of her storyline with the ease and authority of a skilled magician. But in the end, what makes this novel such a rousing success is the emotional truthfulness of her characters and the way she captures the panic and rage of the period. I came to feel I knew these people, and was moved by the dilemmas and difficult choices they had to face.”
—Stephen McCauley, author of 
My Ex-Life

“Time is a healer and a heartbreaker in Makkai’s brilliant and beautiful novel. The Great Believers kept me hoping and guessing, heart in hand, until the very last page.”—Carol Rifka Brunt, author of Tell the Wolves I’m Home
 

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