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Euphoria by Lily King

Euphoria (2014)

by Lily King

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1,6151116,976 (3.89)125
"English anthropologist Andrew Banson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers' deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry and mercurial Australian husband, Fen, pulls him back from the brink. Nell and Fen have just fled the bloodthirsty Mumbanyo and, in spite of Nell's poor health, are hungry for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that burns out of anyone's control" --… (more)
  1. 30
    The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara (sturlington, JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Anthropologen
  2. 20
    Dreams of Rivers and Seas by Tim Parks (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Another novel with Bateson as a main player.
  3. 10
    With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson by Mary Catherine Bateson (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Wie die Tochter von Margaret Mead und Gregory Bateson es sah
  4. 10
    Blackberry Winter: My Earlier Years by Margaret Mead (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Autobiografie bzw. Memoiren der bekannten Anthropologin Margaret Mead
  5. 00
    Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: biografische Romane großer Forscher
  6. 00
    The Inner Circle by T. C. Boyle (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Empirische Forscher, Sexualität bzw. Bedeutung von Sexualität als wichtiges zu erforschendes Thema

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English (109)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
Euphoria- the feeling you get in that moment when, having spent some time studying something important, you really feel you have nailed it. That 's how the main character, Nell Stone, defines it, and why she strives so hard in her study of the tribes of Papua New Guinea.

Although the characters, locations and events are fiction, the story was inspired by an event in the life of Margaret Mead, and is set in the 1930s, the time period that Mead was working in Papua New Guinea.

It does take a while to get into this book, which involves a love triangle. The story has strong themes of academic as well as gender competition. However, I believe the real heart of the story is the differing attitudes of the white characters toward the aborigines. Some of those attitudes have made it possible for us to study artifacts of other cultures from the comfort of our museums. But where should the line between research and respect be drawn?

It's a wonderful story, and a prize winner. I will be reading more by Lily King. ( )
  estelle.siener | Aug 25, 2019 |
I appreciate how King brought to life everything about the New Guinea jungle - the heat, the bugs, the lushness, the smells, and the people. But I just couldn't get interested in the three main characters, much less their love triangle. They just didn't come alive for me. They seemed so smugly colonial to greater (Fen) or lesser (Nell) degrees. I wish King had focused less on the love triangle and more on the contradictions of these early anthropologists, who earnestly want to understand another culture, yet thrust themselves upon this culture from out of nowhere, hauling their mass of stuff, from furniture to books to tea towels, into the jungle and using the people as servants. I also thought there was a real missed opportunity in not digging deeper into the Tam man who had escaped from the mines and returned home. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Euphoria is the story of three anthropologists who work with tribes in New Guinea. Nell Stone is Margaret Mead, Fen is her husband Reo Fortune and Andrew Bankson is supposed to be Gregory Bateson.
Nell is researching and publishing her findings regarding the culture, mores, family relationships, sex habits, child reading practices of the tribe. Her husband seems to be quite lazy and ineffective in his studies and prefers to hang out with the men, witnessing their rituals. Bankson is so isolated and lonely that he is on the verge of suicide when Nell and Fen show up.
It’s a very good book, well written with a lot of tension between the main characters. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Feb 14, 2019 |
Story based loosely on the life of anthropologist, Margaret Mead, the men she loved, and who loved her. Also info on the tribes she studied and their social habits, which she wrote about. I had heard so much about this book, so I was really anticipating it, but for me, it was just okay. ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
Was initially doubtful that the premise would hold my attention but I was completely WRONG. Devoured this book and found myself really invested in Bankson journey as well as Nell's struggle to gain autonomy from Fen. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
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Quarrels over women are the keynote of the New Guinea primitive world. -- Margaret Mead
Experience, contrary to common belief, is mostly imagination. -- Ruth Benedict
For my mother, Wendy, with all my love
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As they were leaving the Mumbanyo, someone threw something at them.
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