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The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.by Adelle Waldman
Synopses & Reviews
Bold, touching, and funny — a debut novel by a brilliant young woman about the coming-of-age of a brilliant young literary man.
“He was not the kind of guy who disappeared after sleeping with a woman — and certainly not after the condom broke. On the contrary: Nathaniel Piven was a product of a postfeminist, 1980s childhood and politically correct 1990s college education. He had learned all about male privilege. Moreover, he was in possession of a functional and frankly rather clamorous conscience.” — from The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
Nate Piven is a rising star in Brooklyn's literary scene. 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,” and who holds her own in conversation with his friends. But when one relationship grows more serious, Nate is forced to reconsider what it is he really wants.
This absorbing and funny tale is set in a twenty-first century literary world alive with wit and conversation. Here Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a sensitive, modern man — who is drawn to women, yet has a habit of letting them down, who thinks of himself as beyond superficial judgment, yet constantly struggles with his own status anxiety. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. reveals one particular (though also alarmingly familiar) young man's thoughts about women and love.
"If you ever wondered what that guy could have possibly been thinking (or been that guy and still found yourself without a clue), you'll probably laugh, scowl, and hide your eyes in equal measure as you page through this hilarious, smart-as-hell debut. An elegant, half-satirical, half-sweet novel about modern love, New York, gender roles, and muddling through." Emily Temple, Flavorpill
"The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. [is] a hilariously astute portrait of a hopelessly self-obsessed Brooklyn writer as a sad young literary man, a Peter Pan for a new, deeply ironic millennium." Vogue
"The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is one of the most nuanced and precise portraits of the muddled male mind since Nick Hornby's High Fidelity. But Adelle Waldman doesn't stop there; the novel also presents from-the-trenches insights into the status anxiety swirling around these young and ambitious literary New Yorkers. Shot through with wit and carried along by graceful prose, Waldman's debut is a joy to read." Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine: A Novel
"Adelle Waldman writes about very twenty-first century manners and sexual mores with a deep fluency of psychological intelligence reminiscent of a nineteenth century classic. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is a novel to admire, even — or especially — when you are wincing at its insights." Benjamin Kunkel, author of Indecision
"Wow. What a psychologically astute, and very, very witty novel — about a young male you would think you might hate (but you don't; or, at least, I didn't), by a young female writer you can't help but love." Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances
"I can't remember the last novel this good about being young and smart and looking for love in the big city. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. reads as if one of the top tier 19th-century novelists zeroed her social x-ray eyes onto present-moment Brooklyn. Up-and-coming writers and artists everywhere will be squirming with uncomfortable recognition of themselves, their friends, and their psyches; far more readers will be thanking Adelle Waldman for this hilarious, big-hearted, ruthlessly intelligent, and ridiculously well-written novel." Charles Bock, author of the best-selling novel Beautiful Children
"Novelist Adelle Waldman does a very tricky thing: she succeeds in crossing the gender line, imagining the world from behind the eyes of a male character both sympathetically and unsentimentally. This former young-literary-man-in-Brooklyn found himself cringing in recognition." William Deresiewicz, author of A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter
"A hysterically honest ethnographic study of the male hipster in his natural habitat (Brooklyn), The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is the sympathetic portrait of a terminally-adolescent, over-educated, indecisive and slightly scruffy thirty-something. Nate is so convincingly drawn you'll want to hug him, lecture him and shake some sense into him simultaneously. Waldman has deftly written a laugh-out-loud treatise on why he didn't call." Allison Amend, author of A Nearly Perfect Copy
"This sharp, unsentimental debut novel is as fiercely intelligent as it is deliciously cheeky and well-observed. Literary Brooklyn and its striving inhabitants may never again be so unsparingly — and so winningly — portrayed. I can't wait to read more from Adelle Waldman." Joanna Hershon, author of The German Bride and A Dual Inheritance
"Bracing and astute. Waldman writes these crisp, smart sentences that are every bit as thoughtful as her characters — people whose relationships founder and flourish in ways that will captivate readers from page one." Fiona Maazel, author of Last Last Chance and Woke Up Lonely
"Deliciously funny, sharply observed, elegantly told, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is the best debut Ive encountered in years, the best novel about New York, and the best novel about contemporary manhood and the crazy state of gender roles and just "contemporary" life. With a pitch perfect balance of satire and sympathy, reminiscent of Mary McCarthy's The Group, Joshua Ferris Then We Came to the End, and Jay McInerney's Brightness Falls, Adelle Waldman's voice is nevertheless entirely — and unabashedly — her own." Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of the novel A Fortunate Age
Bold, touching, and funny—a debut novel by a brilliant young woman about the coming-of-age of a brilliant young literary man
“He was not the kind of guy who disappeared after sleeping with a woman—and certainly not after the condom broke. On the contrary: Nathaniel Piven was a product of a postfeminist 1980s childhood and politically correct, 1990s college education. He had learned all about male privilege. Moreover, he was in possession of a functional and frankly rather clamorous conscience.” - From The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
Nate Piven is a rising star in Brooklyns literary scene. 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 is lively fun and holds her own in conversation with his friends.
In this 21st-century literary world, wit and conversation are not at all dead. Is romance? Novelist Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a modern man—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. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is an absorbing tale of one young mans search for happiness—and an inside look at how he really thinks about women, sex and love.
About the Author
Adelle Waldman is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University's journalism school. She worked as a reporter at the New Haven Register and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal's website. Her articles also have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and other national publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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