Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Euphoria, by Lily King, is a novel of historical fiction based on a brief period in the life of Margaret Mead. In 1933, Mead, already well-known for her ground-breaking work, Coming of Age in Samoa, and her husband, Reo Fortune, were returning from a discouraging stay with a hostile tribe in New Guinea, when they met a colleague, Gregory Bateson, who convinced them to stay and continue working with a different tribe.
Using this encounter as a point of departure, King creates the story of a love triangle involving three gifted anthropologists who are working to develop a new social science.
Denise Brennan Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Georgetown University, comments, "Well, Nell is a tough woman. She goes into places where women weren't going at that time. And we hear, time and time again, from the author, Lily King, how ambitious she is and how she loves to work. I loved Nell. I think, in Nell, we see somebody who's straddling so many worlds, both the male world and the places that women couldn't go in her own society and then we watch her so expertly and so compassionately and yet, at times, quite troublingly try to make sense of this completely other so-called exotic place she goes into.