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
— Cathy Langer in our lead buyer at Tattered Cover with three decades of experience.
From page one and Nell's broken glasses I was spellbound and riveted. Euphoria is a novel to devour for its nuanced and complicated characters made all the more intriguing due to novelist's Lily King's incorporating the legendary anthropologist Margaret Mead's life and experiences into the unforgettable Nell Stone. New Guinea in the 1930's is the setting for King's novel about three anthropologists living with native tribes; Nell and her husband Fen, and their friend and colleague Andrew Bankson. The three are insatiable in their desire to understand the cultures they've placed themselves in some peril to study. They are also vulnerable to each other, and as Euphoria unfolds it becomes clear that the real peril to their survival does not come from the natives. Euphoria is exactly the kind of novel I crave and love to recommend to our readers. Thank you, Lily King." ~ Cathy
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.
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