Lily King takes us on a ride up the Sepik River into the Papua New Guinea rain forest. It's the 1930s. A British anthropologist meets an Australian/American anthropologist couple who needs to find a new tribe to study. As he helps them settle in, their lives become entwined: he loves her who loves him who loves him. A big question is whether cultural differences are more important than individual differences in determining who we are. They think they know the answers, but perhaps they cannot understand themselves as they think they understand the natives. Strong characters with an excellent plot in an exotic setting make for great reading. -- Alan Dishman— From August 2014
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
Summer 2019 Reading Group Indie Next List
“Euphoria is a fascinating historical novel based on a complex woman. Science, culture, and nature collide. The beginnings of the study of anthropology were fraught with peril and make it a great jumping off point for discussion.”
— Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
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.
About the Author
Lily King's first novel, The Pleasing Hour won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her second book, The English Teacher, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award. Father of the Rain was a New York Times Editors' Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Novel of the Year, and winner of the 2010 New England Book Award for Fiction. Lily King lives with her family in Maine.
Praise for EUPHORIA
With Euphoria, Lily King gives us a searing and absolutely mesmerizing glimpse into 1930’s New Guinea, a world as savage and fascinating as Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, where obsessions rise to a feverish pitch, and three dangerously entangled anthropologists will never be the same again. Jaw-droppingly, heart-stoppingly beautiful. I loved this book.”Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife