The stunning cult novel that has been a US bestseller.
Falling in love, maintaining fragile family relationships and growing to understand the incremental effect of every experience, Hilary Thayer Hamann's coming-of-age novel is a depiction of sexual and intellectual awakening against the backdrop of East Hampton in the 1970s and moneyed, high-pressured Manhattan in the 1980s.
As Evie Auerbach surrenders to the dazzling emotional highs of love and the crippling loneliness of heartbreak, she strives to reconcile her identity with the constraints that all relationships inherently place on us. Though she stumbles and strains against social conventions, Evie remains a strong yet sensitive observer of the world around her, often finding beauty and meaning in unexpected places.
More than just a love story, Anthropology of an American Girl is an extraordinary piece of writing, original in its vision and thrilling in its execution.
Hilary Thayer Hamann lives in Manhattan and on Long Island. This is her first novel.
As vast and ambitious as the country itself ... A very respectable and serious descendant of the work of D.H. Lawrence ... Hamann has put together a carefully devised, coherent world, filled with opinions that need to be spoken - and heard. — Washington Post
Remember what if feels like to be 17? Hamann does, and her heroine, Eveline Auerbach, sounds like somebody many of us knew -or were... Hamann's depiction of time and place is stunningly accurate. A realistic, resonant, and universal story. — O! Magazine
Hamann has a hugely engaging voice and one that is rich with social and psychological insights into Reagan-era America as she creates a young, artistic woman with dreams who is buffeted about by reality. — Chicago Tribune
Showcases all of the nuance and character insight of the masters. But it also has a thrilling contemporary edge that seems to just about perfectly capture the ethos, angst and danger of a time close to our own...It's easy to get hooked by one of the most engaging, evolving voices in contemporary fiction...Hamann so fully imbues her characters with recognizable humanity that they stand up and demand to be heard. — Chicago Sun Times
The novel's every twist and turn brings a relatable and rawly emotional tale. — Elle
Eveline Auerbach, the heroine of Anthropology of an American Girl, observes at one point that "pain becomes its own story." That may be the best way to begin talking about Hilary Thayer Hamann's arresting and provocative coming-of-age novel, set against the twilight years of Eveline's adolescence and the dawn of the 1980s - a decade made all the more infamous by books like American Psycho and Bright Lights, Big City. Hamann's 600-page epic is a worthy and welcome successor to those novels, as it charts the wistful and unsteady course of a girl experiencing the often brutal paradox of being a woman. Eveline is a curious soul. Much of her story unfolds in interior monologues that display how acutely - and how honestly - she observes herself and the men who lay claim to her, and no thought of hers is left unturned: she reflects with great tenderness both the guileless narcissism and the strange liberty of being young. Anthropology of an American Girl is an accomplished and absorbing work of fiction, resonant and romantic in the grandest sense, that will remind you what a great American novel really is. — Anne Bartholomew, Amazon.com, Best Books of the Month, June 2010
An engaging read reminiscent of Bret Easton Ellis and Candace Bushnell; a significant voice writing about her time, place and experience with honesty. — We Love this Book
Sharp and sexy! — Bella
A trail of raw yet recognisable truths about passion, both physical and platonic. — Daily Mail