Melinda3, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Melinda3)
Loved it! Beautifully written, the author describes Evie's thoughts and feelings with such truth! I couldn't resist writing down several passages from this novel in a notebook so that I can make sure I'll be able to find them again. Really beautiful.
Amber Perry, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Amber Perry)
I loved this book! I can't say enough about it. The novel spans about five years as the main character comes to terms with her place in America as a woman and an artist. The prose is so poetic that most of my copy is underlined. Enjoy.
mclarenster, July 16, 2010 (view all comments by mclarenster)
I was afraid this would be another of those over-hyped works of fiction, but Anthropology of an American Girl really walks the talk. The parsing of gender politics--both inter- and intra-sex--is spot-on. I can feel the oppression of the late 70s/early 80s and the reverberations of the sexual revolution all over the pages at the beginning of the book, as the main character gets punted around by expectations yet tries to hold her own. The prose is worth taking in, over and above the story.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"If publishers could figure out a way to turn crack into a book, it'd read a lot like this. Originally a self-published cult hit in 2003 (since reedited), Hamann's debut traces the sensual, passionate, and lonely interior of a young woman artist growing up in windswept East Hampton at the end of the 1970s. The book begins as a two-pronged tragedy befalls 17-year-old narrator Eveline: her best friend's mother (more maternal than her own) dies, and Eveline is raped by two high school students. Her brutalized interior, exquisitely rendered by Hamann, leads Eveline to a series of self-realizations that bears obvious comparison to that iconic nonconformist Holden Caulfield. The difference, though, is Eveline's femininity threatens to subsume her fragility. Over the course of the book, she falls deeply in love with a stormy figure who helps bring her to disturbing conclusions. Eveline — bent on self-destruction but capable of deep passion, stifled by circumstance but constantly blossoming — is a marvelously complex and tragic figure of disconnection, startlingly real and exposed at all times." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Kirkus Reviews (starred review),
"Closely observed, Holden Caulfield-ish story of teendom in Manhattan and its purlieus in the age of Me....The details are exactly right....Intelligent and without a false note — a memorable work."
by Ms. Magazine,
"A cinematic and emotionally ripe debut novel...in gorgeous language and with brilliant observation."
by Columbia Spectator,
"What Catcher in the Rye did for high school youths troubled by the onslaught of adulthood, Anthropology of an American Girl does for college women struggling to reconcile their dreams with reality....[A] modern Jane Eyre — a stunning novel to be read and re-read."
"Though ultimately more soap opera than literary anthropology, Hamann's novel is not without its interests, among them the verisimilitude of its setting and several extremely well realized male characters."
by The Providence Journal,
"[A]n extraordinary debut....[I]t rivets through a rawness of complex emotion. Hamann's particular gift is her language, syntax-laden with metaphor and analogy which fly effortlessly from Evie's philosophical, sensual way of seeing. Gorgeous detail and nuanced thought...an insightful, page-turning read."
A stunning debut about a young girl's coming of age and finding love, set in East Hampton and Manhattan in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
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