Euphoria by Lily King (Grove Atlantic; On Sale June 3, 2014)
From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.
English anthropologist Andrew Bankson 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.
Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.
When famous anthropologist Nell Stone and her husband Fen move down the river to study a tribe closer to Andrew Bankson, they interrupt his thoughts of suicide and loneliness. Finally, people to talk to! Turns out that this couple’s presence adds some complications to Andrew’s already complicated life. Drawn to Nell and Fen like a moth to the fire, an intellectual affair ignites among this threesome. Eventually it gets physical and emotional with Nell (who was inspired by Margaret Mead) – leading to accomplishment, tragedy, and violence.
In college, I briefly toyed with becoming an anthropology major. While it didn’t end up being my future career, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been an enduring passion. You don’t need an interest in anthropology to dive into Euphoria, though. Nell and Fen were studying the cruel Mumbanyo tribe in New Guinea, when Nell convinces her reluctant husband to study elsewhere. Fen, however, is after a flute that he believes will garner him fame and glory. When Andrew (fresh off a failed suicide attempt) meets them, he’s determined to keep this power couple close by – and installs them up the river with the Tam tribe. While Nell falls in love with the tribe, and begins her life’s work, her husband is focused on “procuring” – really he just plans on stealing – the Mumbanyo tribe’s totemic flute.
Between philosophical discussions of the field of anthropology itself, to a beautiful and doomed romance, this was a fantastic and gripping read.
Let’s get down to business.
To outbid the huns!
Here I have some figures
and some facts and sums!
It’s the saddest lot you’ve ever bought
but if you bet on this one too
make you a buck
We must be swift as the stock exchanges
With all the force of a great tycoon
With all the strength of a thriving market
Mysterious as the Romney’s revenues!
I’m never gonna get this back
Say good bye to my salary
Boy was I fool in school for cutting STATS
This guy’s got them scared to death
Hope he doesn’t see my assets
Now I really wish I knew how to add!