The national bestseller, named a best book of the year by The New Yorker, NPR, Slate, The Economist, The New Republic, Bookforum, Baltimore City Paper, The Daily Beast, National Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Reader, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Buzzfeed and many others. A New York Times Editors' Choice and a Washington Post Notable book.
"Adelle Waldman's debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., scrutinizes Nate and the subculture that he thrives in with a patient, anthropological detachment. Ms. Waldman has sorted and cross-categorized the inhabitants of Nate's world with a witty, often breathtaking precision..."—Maria Russo, The New York Times
"Adelle Waldman just may be this generation's Jane Austen"—The Boston Globe
A debut novel by a brilliant young woman about the romantic life of a brilliant young man.
Writer Nate Piven's star is rising. After several lean and striving years, he has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Juliet, the hotshot business reporter; Elisa, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, now friend; and Hannah, "almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice," who holds her own in conversation with his friends. When one relationship grows more serious, Nate is forced to consider what it is he really wants.
In Nate's 21st-century literary world, wit and conversation are not at all dead. Is romance? Novelist Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a flawed, sometimes infuriating modern man—one who thinks of himself as beyond superficial judgment, yet constantly struggles with his own status anxiety, who is drawn to women, yet has a habit of letting them down in ways that may just make him an emblem of our times. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is an absorbing tale of one young man's search for happiness—and an inside look at how he really thinks about women, sex and love.
Brooklynite Nathaniel Piven, "a product of a postfeminist, 1980s childhood," is the modern male inheritor of a dating world where the enduring gender imbalance gives him the upper hand. But when it comes to relationships, he's achingly aware of the hidden traps and unsought responsibility of this power. Nate hates feeling guilty over the many women he hurts (female tears in this novel flow with a tenacious persistence, to Nate's irritation). His well-intentioned missteps with reporter Juliet and editorial assistant Elisa earn him tireless tsk-tsk reprimands and a rep for being "the kind of guy women call an asshole." When he begins dating a seemingly perfect-for-him writer named Hannah, we wonder whether Nate will adapt or strike out yet again. Hannah is nice, smart, and makes him feel "at home," but will Nate, who seems to feed off misconnecting with women, make the right relationship move or is it yet another "dick move"? An acute study of present-day struggles with intimacy, Waldman seems to suggest that love is too constricting a tie for the 21st century, and that, perhaps, a different kind of connection might better define the contemporary couple. She navigates the male psyche and a highly entertaining hipster mindset, and sneaks in an unexpected, understated ending that brings this pulpy read a satisfying poignancy.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book was so... Something
Nate is extremely nuanced in the way it discusses women and how men relate to women. Nate seems thoughtful, but is imbued in narcissism that is evident as he compares every woman he's dating to one another. I found myself wondering "is this how men think?" And hoping that it isn't. The word choices (naïf and stentorian) were good descriptive words. And this book made me wonder how many men I know like this. All of it was thought provoking and a reminder that women have to do so much to catch & keep a man's attention. In reading this book, I found myself wishing it weren't so hard for Hannah.
I saw the review on GQ and thought it would be interesting to read about a man's relationships as authored by a female. The authors POV about a man's love affairs and his thought process was certainly enlightening!
Worst book Apple ever recommended to me
Book better used as waste paper, author makes such disgusting assumptions, absolute fiction in the worst sort of weird left wing way, hated that I had to read this book to completion