Saturday, March 21, 2015


Cover image for Euphoria : a novelEuphoria
By Lily King
Atlantic Monthly, 2014. 256 pages. Fiction.

Set in New Guinea during the early 1930's Euphoria tells the story of anthropologist Andrew Bankson who has gone half mad with loneliness stationed in a remote tribal village in New Guinea; until a chance meeting with fellow anthropologists Nell and Fen pull him from the brink of suicide. Nell and Fen have just abandoned their research, and fled for their lives from the blood thirsty Mumbanyo  tribe, and Andrew finds them a tribe near his that seems like a perfect fit for their continued research. As their research with the artistic, female dominated Tam takes off, the three researchers find themselves in a complicated triangle of intellectual and romantic passion that quickly threatens to spiral out of control.

Based largely on real life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Meade, Euphoria tackles complicated issues and questions surrounding fundamental assumptions of the Western interpretations of relationships, and our innate human desire to posses another person, idea, or culture. King asserts masterful story telling through an intricate structure, that shifts from field notes, and the first person observations of Bankson, which weaves the past experiences and upbringing of the characters together to help understand their various reactions to the new cultures in which they are immersed. This is a plot and character driven read, and one that will appeal to readers who enjoy historical and philosophical reads. ZB

No comments: