A New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the 2014 Kirkus Prize
Winner of the 2014 New England Book Award for Fiction
A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
A Best Book of the Year for:
New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Vogue, New York Magazine, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Our Man in Boston, Oprah.com, Salon
Euphoria is Lily King’s nationally bestselling breakout novel of three young, gifted anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is "dazzling ... suspenseful ... brilliant...an exhilarating novel.”—Boston Globe
The love lives and expeditions of controversial anthropologists Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson are fictionalized and richly reimagined in New England Book Award winner King's (Father of the Rain) meaty and entrancing fourth book. Set in the 1930s in Papua New Guinea, this impeccably researched story illuminates the state of the world as clearly as the passion of its characters. Many years into his study of the isolated Kiona tribe, Andrew Bankson (the stand-in for Bateson here) is recovering from a recent failed suicide attempt when he meets with renowned anthropologist Nell Stone (Mead) and her fiery husband Fen (Fortune) at a party. His vigor for life renewed after meeting them, Andrew introduces the couple to the tribe they'll be studying, who live a few hours away, down the Sepik River. Before long, Andrew becomes obsessed not just with his work but with Nell, and the relationship tangle sets off a fateful series of events. While the love triangle sections do turn pages (Innuendo! Jealousy! Betrayal!), King's immersive prose takes center stage. The fascinating descriptions of tribal customs and rituals, paired with snippets of Nell's journals as well as the characters' insatiable appetites for scientific discovery all contribute to a thrilling read that, at its end, does indeed feel like "the briefest, purest euphoria."
Customer ReviewsSee All
An engaging story that I enjoyed from the beginning and was devastated to reach the end. I was there and now these characters have left me behind! This is real story telling.
An insightful and deeply moving novel that carries you along on a tale of intermingled humanity. How ironic that in studying the 'uncivilized' tribes one can become more in touch with ones own human foibles. Loved it and well worth a read.
I read this book for a book club I belong to and had no idea what I was in store for. It is not the type of book I usually would have chosen for my own personal pleasure reading, but found it most enjoyable. The author brought the characters as well as their surroundings to life. I was disappointed in the ending, but would recommend it.