Rebecca Makkai is the author of "The Borrower," "The Hundred-Year House," which won the Novel of the Year Award from the Chicago Writers Association, and "Music for Wartime." Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Harper's, and Tin House, among others.
In her new book, "The Great Believers," it's 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. 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.