A fictional look at cultural anthropology in the 1930s inspired by three famous figures — Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune, and Gregory Bateson — who have three entirely different ways of studying the native peoples who they live with and observe. The novel explores not only the culture but the lives of the three who compete both professionally and personally with one another. Beautifully written, provocative and a stay up late page turner. I loved it.— Gayle
Drawn like a moth to flame by its title and its color-drenched jacket art, I first picked it up; my mind flashed to the bark of a giant and ages-old eucalyptus tree that stood on the grounds of Baker’s nursery, but when I encountered the rainbow eucalyptus on the islands of Papua New Guinea, appearing many pages in, a brief and enormous detail in this passionate story of searching, and loss, exploration, love, tropics and tribe, the language and sensibility revealing itself in King’s characters – based on very real ones - had begun to take hold, and I followed them into the forests off the Sepik river, pulled along by an intimate and imaginative tale that is complicit and empathetic in the loveliest way. An aptly titled tale; if you didn’t take notice in 2014, why wait any longer to experience euphoria?— Claudia
June 2014 Indie Next List
“Loosely based on Margaret Mead's time in Papua New Guinea, this engaging, insightful novel features three young anthropologists in the 1930s who studied the remote, primitive Sepik River tribes. Euphoria is about cutting-edge research and revolutionary ideas, but inevitably it is also about the complications within the scholars' relationships when societal norms are stripped away, and love, greed, jealousy, and control are left unfettered. Artfully narrated, alternating between first person and third person as well as journal entries, King's novel offers a unique view into these rich and complicated characters.”
— Katie McDougall, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN
A New York Times Bestseller Winner of the 2014 Kirkus Prize Winner of the 2014 New England Book Award for Fiction A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award A Best Book of the Year for: New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Vogue, New York Magazine, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Amazon, Publishers Weekly, Our Man in Boston, Oprah.com, Salon Euphoria is Lily King's nationally bestselling breakout novel of three young, gifted anthropologists of the '30's caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is "dazzling ... suspenseful ... brilliant...an exhilarating novel."--Boston Globe
About the Author
Lily King is the author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, and Father of the Rain, a New York Times Editor's Choice and winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction. King is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and the Maine Fiction Award twice. She lives with her husband and children in Maine.