book cover of The Great Believers

The Great Believers

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
Short-listed for the National Book Award

"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 new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed author Rebecca Makkai

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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"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

"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

"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

"The Great Believers is by turns funny, harrowing, tender, devastating, 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. This is Rebecca Makkai at the height of her powers." - Margot Livesey

"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

"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 memory." - Viet Thanh Nguyen

"Stirring, spellbinding and full of life." - Téa Obreht

"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

"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


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Used availability for Rebecca Makkai's The Great Believers

Hardback Editions

January 2019 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
ISBN: 1-4328-5970-6 / 978-1-4328-5970-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


July 2018 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
ISBN: 0-7088-9913-7 / 978-0-7088-9913-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


June 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
ISBN: 0-7352-2352-1 / 978-0-7352-2352-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Viking
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

July 2019 : UK Paperback

Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
ISBN: 0-7088-9912-9 / 978-0-7088-9912-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


June 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
ISBN: 0-7088-9911-0 / 978-0-7088-9911-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

June 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon   


June 2018 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

June 2018 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
Publisher: Viking
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


June 2018 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Great Believers
Author(s): Rebecca Makkai
Publisher: Fleet
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU