Hanya Yanagihara is an author and editor who has brought in a new era to T: The New York Times Style Magazine since taking the helm as editor-in-chief in April 2017. Under her eye, the magazine has undergone a visual and content revamp with a focus on diversity and a shift to cultural and fashion coverage relevant in the Trump and #MeToo era.
A fourth-generation resident of Hawaii, Yanagihara was born in Los Angeles and is partly Japanese through her father. As a child, she lived between Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Texas and California, and attended Punahou High School in Hawaii. After graduating from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, she moved to New York and went into publishing. Yanagihara soon moved to magazines, working at Brill’s Content, and later, as editor-at-large at Condé Nast Traveler. She served as T Magazine’s deputy editor from June 2015 to April 2016.
She returned to T Magazine in April 2017 as its editor-in-chief, bringing in a revamp to both design and content, to better resonate with its evolving demographic and reflect a more news-focused approach. She has also brought a focus on diversity, as well as the intersection between art and culture in a #MeToo and Trump era.
Yanagihara is the author of two novels. Her first novel, The People in the Trees, was published in 2013 and named one of the best books of that year. Her second, A Little Life, became a cultural phenomenon and was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for fiction and was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Fiction.