Rebecca Makkai is a novelist and short-story writer. She grew up in Lake Bluff, Illinois to parents who were linguistics professors. Her paternal grandmother was a well-known actress and novelist in Hungary. Makkai herself has published three novels so far.
The Great Believers was published in 2018 and selected as one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2018. The book was also a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. The story is set during the time of the AIDS epidemic in 1980s Chicago – and in contemporary Paris, pre-corona. It tells two intertwining stories about people who struggle to find goodness in times of crisis.
The German of edition of the book is called Die Optimisten.