Nell, with her lyrical, near-poetic field notes, is as much artist as scientist, with an infectious capacity for liberating passion in those near her. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. Ad Choices. From Norman Rush to Barbara Kingsolver, the misdeeds of Westerners have inspired their own vibrant literary subgenre; in King’s fresh addition, the work of novelist and anthropologist find resonant parallel: While immersing ourselves in the beauty and cruelty of others, we confront our own. Wed 24 Dec 2014 09.00 EST Both a novelist and an anthropologist ask the same thing: How do people live? King is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and a Whiting Award. I found myself reading slowly, underlining phrases, wanting to linger in … Lily King’s Euphoria, a fictionalised account of a brief period of field work along New Guinea’s Sepik river in 1933, does not set out to redeem Mead’s reputation, but its humanising portrayal of her as a dedicated ethnographer certainly re-establishes Mead’s remarkable presence in the field. If one anthropologist’s name is known beyond the field, it is that of Margaret Mead, and yet in all my years of studying anthropology I was never taught her work. I corresponded with King about Mead—and what continues to draw fiction writers to the intellectual hothouses of yesteryear. This is her second story to appear in Ploughshares. King’s first novel, The Pleasing Hour (1999), won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. King takes as her point of departure an actual encounter between Mead, her second husband, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson, the man who would become her third. Her major works, Coming of Age in Samoa and Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies, challenged the “naturalness” of adolescent angst and gender roles, and the wisdom of restrictive sexual mores. Available for everyone, funded by readers. Here is the euphoria of the title; that breakthrough in understanding – a moment of sudden and exhilarating clarity in the life of the artist or scientist. Lily King’s Euphoria, ... King takes as her point of departure an actual encounter between Mead, her second husband, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson, the man who would become her third. • Camilla Gibb’s The Beauty of Humanity Movement is published by Atlantic. Emilie Charlotte Langtry (née Le Breton; October 13, 1853 – February 12, 1929), known as Lillie (or Mead said in a New Yorker interview: “The whole world is my field.” A writer would say the exact same thing. Learn how and when to remove this template message, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, "Lila' Honored as Top Fiction by National Book Critics Circle", "Top 10 Everything of 2014: Top 10 Fiction Books",, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 2014 New England Book Award for Fiction winner for, This page was last edited on 15 August 2020, at 13:11. What are you working on now?I have exactly 1.5 pages of a new novel. King's fourth novel, Euphoria (2014), was inspired by events in the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead. [4] Euphoria was listed among The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2014,[1] TIME's Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014,[5] and the Amazon Best Books of 2014. Were there any surprises in your research? Each of the three anthropologists has different approaches to their work and the limitations of it: Nell is a meticulous and empathetic observer; Fen, who is talented with languages, is obsessed with breaking down barriers; and Bankson humbly questions whether one culture can, with any objectivity, understand the values that govern another. Her apparent vulnerability opens the door to his own.

We can forgive the occasional cliche – “the savageness beneath the veneer of society. Therein begins Andrew’s coy courtship of Nell, who reignites his belief in his work. The novel’s protagonist, Nell, whose brilliant, controversial book on sexuality and Samoan children has made her famous, is adrift and mourning a miscarriage when the book opens. Fen, meanwhile, has become contradictory and entrenched: resentful of his wife’s success, and at times derisive; he is spurred into action only by the threat of further emasculation. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. King grew up in Massachusetts and received a B.A.

King immerses us so fully in the lives of her characters that they remain excellent company beyond the pages of this book. The story reimagines a brief collaboration in New Guinea in the early 1930s involving Mead; her husband, Reo Fortune; and her future husband, Gregory Bateson. I wouldn’t have had to go away from you.” This line suggests that if he had hit her someplace where people couldn’t see it, she would have stayed. © 2020 Condé Nast. Mead is a towering figure, and it’s fascinating to see a more vulnerable side to her. A Conversation with Lily King about Euphoria, loosely inspired by the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead

Do you have a favorite Margaret Mead quote?There are so many great Mead quotes, but here’s a surprising one. Her research is so well digested that she is able to drop us into the complexities of their work without being didactic. We spoke to Lily King about Margaret Mead, the inspiration behind King’s acclaimed new novel, Euphoria. But I wanted to know more about this time in her life, so I read her memoir and her book, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies, about the tribes she studied during that time. Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge "Writers & Lovers is a portrait of the artist as a young woman. Her provocative claims found a wide audience, from the moment they were published in the 1930s until they fell out of favour in the 1960s. Desperately lonely after two disenchanting years among the (fictitious) Kiona tribe, Andrew has recently tried to drown himself. I found myself taking notes and getting ideas, and when I was done with my last novel, Father of the Rain, I started in.

In the June issue o_f Vogue,_ I wrote about **Lily King’**s compass-spinningly seductive fourth novel, Euphoria (Atlantic Monthly Press), inspired …

King … An interview with Lily King. She has taught English and creative writing at several universities and high schools. As a woman and a populariser of anthropology, she was bound to encounter fierce criticism. Slight, malarial and injured, Nell appears a much diminished version of the famous anthropologist of Andrew’s imagination. and then pursued her M.A., receiving it in creative writing when she graduated from Syracuse University. Nell (Mead) and Fen (Fortune) are about to set sail for Australia after a particularly dispiriting stretch of field work in New Guinea when by chance they meet Andrew (Bateson), a rival anthropologist in the region, at a Christmas party hosted by the colonial administration. Lily King writes masterfully about desire and loss, creativity and inspiration, and how each overlaps and influences the other. The best new culture, style, and beauty stories from Vogue, delivered to you daily. It just felt more natural, more intimate. With self-interested desperation, he insists Nell and Fen do not leave, promising to take them upriver to the Tam, a peaceful tribe of strong women. It feels like something impossible, just as Euphoria felt, which I’m hoping is a good thing. And once I realized it was his story, everything I thought was going to happen had to change. In the June issue o_f Vogue,_ I wrote about **Lily King’**s compass-spinningly seductive fourth novel, Euphoria (Atlantic Monthly Press), inspired by Margaret Mead’s experiences in 1930s Papua New Guinea. At one point, Bankson resonantly asks: “When only one person is the expert on a particular people, do we learn more about the people or the anthropologist when we read the analysis?” What made you decide to tell the story from his perspective—apart from the first chapter, and Nell’s journals and letters?Once I wrote that second chapter in Bankson’s voice, I knew it was his story, not hers.

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