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Anthropology of an American Girl: A Novel
by Hilary Thayer Hamann

Published: 2010-05-25
Hardcover : 624 pages
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Self-published in 2003, Hilary Thayer Hamann's 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, ...
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Introduction

Self-published in 2003, Hilary Thayer Hamann's 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, Hamann's 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.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2010: 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

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  "BORING"by ktbear (see profile) 01/25/12

Only two people in our group finished this book. It was so slow and the characters were not very likable.

 
  "Anthropology of an American Girl"by mik-it-geek (see profile) 09/24/10

The author was very descriptive and I could picture the scenes very well. The musical references were fabulous - we made a playlist that ran during the book club discussion. I had a love/hate relationship... (read more)

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