Exotic, intimate, and beautifully written. I have long been an admirer of Margaret Mead, and in my eyes Lily King has done justice to imagining part of Mead's life in a way that really places you in the environments and situational quandaries she encountered. This novel aches to be read by anyone who craves a book that, in addition to portraying moving, complicated characters, will completely take and hold their attention from start to finish. Recommended By Aubrey W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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 one of Salon's Best Books of the Year (so far)” and an intellectually stimulating tour de force” (NPR.com).
"Euphoria is a meticulously researched homage to Mead's restless mind and a considered portrait of Western anthropology in its primitivist heyday. Its also a taut, witty, fiercely intelligent tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace a love triangle in extremis.
The steam the book emits is as much intellectual as erotic
and King's signal achievement may be to have created satisfying drama out of a quest for interpretive insight.
King is brilliant on the moral contradictions that propelled anthropological encounters with remote tribes.
In King's exquisite book, desire for knowledge, fame, another person is only fleetingly rewarded.” New York Times Book Review
"Although King has always written coolly about intense emotions, here she captures the amber of one mans exquisite longing for a woman who changed the way we look at ourselves." Washington Post
"This year's winner Book I Read In One Sitting Because I happened to Read The First Page...a novel of ideas and also a novel of emotions: the titular one but also envy, hubris, despair, and above all desire how liberating or scandalous it can be, how linked to intellect, how dictatorial." New York, Best Books of the Year
"You need know not one thing about 1930s cultural anthropology, or about the late, controversial anthropologists Margaret Mead and Reo Fortune and Gregory Bateson (Mead's second and third husbands) to delight in King's novel. Her superb coup is to have imagined a story loosely founded on the intertwined lives of the three that instantly becomes its own, thrilling saga.” San Francisco Chronicle, Top 10 Books of 2014
"Lily King has built her reputation as a gifted novelist steadily over three books. Her fourth, Euphoria a smart, sexy, concise work inspired by anthropologist Margaret Mead should solidify the critical approval and bring her a host of new readers.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Masterful...Euphoria begins so deep in the action that the reader is captured on Page 1...a thrilling and beautifully composed novel....A great novelist is like an anthropologist, examining what humans do by habit and custom. King excels in creating vignettes from Nell's fieldwork as well as from the bitter conversation of the three love-torn collaborators, making the familiar strange and the strange acceptable. This is a riveting and provocative novel, absolutely first-rate." Seattle Times
"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...Kings 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.'" Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Set between the First and Second World Wars, the story is loosely based on events in the life of Margaret Mead. There are fascinating looks into other cultures and how they are studied, and the sacrifices and dangers that go along with it. This is a powerful story, at once gritty, sensuous, and captivating.” Booklist
"Atmospheric....A small gem, disturbing and haunting." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About the Author
Lily King is the author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, and Father of the Rain, a New York Times Editor's Choice and winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction. King is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and the Maine Fiction Award twice. She lives with her husband and children in Maine.