Self-published in 2003, Hilary Thayer Hamanns Anthropology of an American Girl touched a nerve among readers, who identified with the sexual and intellectual awakening of its heroine, a young woman on the brink of adulthood.
A moving depiction of the transformative power of first love, Hamanns first novel follows Eveline Auerbach from her high school years in East Hampton, New York, in the 1970s through her early adulthood in the moneyed, high-pressured Manhattan of the 1980s.
Centering on Evie's fragile relationship with her family and her thwarted love affair with Harrison Rourke, a professional boxer, the novel is both a love story and an exploration of the difficulty of finding one's place in the world. As Evie 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 - whether those familial or romantic, uplifting to the spirit or quietly detrimental - 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.
Newly edited and revised since its original publication, Anthropology of an American Girl is an extraordinary piece of writing, original in its vision and thrilling in its execution.
©2010 Hilary Thayer Hamann (P)2010 Random House
“If publishers could figure out a way to turn crack into a book, it’d read a lot like this. Originally a self-published cult hit in 2003 (since reedited), Hamann’s debut traces the sensual, passionate, and lonely interior of a young woman artist growing up in windswept East Hampton at the end of the 1970s.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Closely observed, Holden Caulfield–ish story of teendom in Manhattan and its purlieus in the age of Me…. The details are exactly right…. Intelligent and without a false note—a memorable work." (Kirkus Reviews)
“A cinematic and emotionally ripe debut novel....in gorgeous language and with brilliant observation.” (Ms. magazine)
I think maybe I'm just in the wrong point in m life to enjoy this book. I tried to like it and listened to the first 14 chapters but I finally decided that any book I had to force myself to listen to wasn't worth it. I'm an adult with children and a job; I just don't have the time for the obsessive self analysis in this book, the teen characters in this book probably wouldn't like me either. I'm giving it two stars for interesting writing and a truthful account of being a young woman in the US but I just couldn't bring myself to listen to all of this.
I was excited about this audiobook and decided to spend the extra loot to obtain it. Half-way through this ridiculous slop, I am wondering why I was not PAID to read it instead of the other way around.
The writer truly should have jotted her obsessive thoughts into a diary rather than attempting a novel. I kept waiting for SOMETHING to happen but it droned on and on and on turning the most minute thoughts into exsistential arguments (between 17 year olds no less).
I imagine if the author went to a party, she would be the guest everyone would avoid since if you asked her if she liked the wine, she would go off on tangent about the shape of a wine glass and how it may effect the continuum of time and space. Actually, I jest. Her word vomit is not that deep. If she were writing a recipe she would probably tell you when to blink between rolling the dough and act as if it was a knew and novel idea that you could not have considered without her assistance.
Summing this up I would have to say it is the longest bore I have ever read. It is so bad you will get angry at having been duped, by the description, into buying it.
I moved audible account status up to platinum just so I could get this book (two credits)...Ultimately, I did enjoy it, but it is long and overwrought on self-inspection and sometimes you feel as if the author was playing a "how many metaphors can I get into one sentence" game. The worst sin of the book? Evaline, the main character and her true love, Rourke, spend years of torture apart, and yet, there is no realy reason ever given, nor one I could even possibly find, as to why they couldn't be together in the first place. If anyone can explain to me why their love was so doomed, please, share...cause I am still at a loss on that one...
I enjoyed this audio book and am still thinking about it days after finishing. I love the way the author writes and the narrator is top notch. It was very long, but I never even once considered not finishing. It grabbed me and I had to see it through. No regrets.
second part of the book is actually pretty good - that is, if you can make it through the first part - which is pretty horrible and boring... wasn't invested in the characters initially - but refused to give up on the book. and i was pleasantly surprised to find part 2 quite enjoyable.
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