Euphoria by Lily King

Novelist Lily King has written an exquisitely beautiful book called Euphoria.  The euphoriahistorical fiction novel is based on the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead and her time spent in the territory of New Guinea in the 1930’s.  Upon reading her biography King learned of the crazy love triangle that ensued with Mead, her  second husband, Reo Fortune and fellow anthropologist, Gregory Bateson, who eventually became her third husband.  King recalled, “I thought it would make a great novel. “

King has made the story her own and tells the story from the perspective of Andrew Bankson, the  lonely distraught anthropologist who has been alone in the jungle for months and was suicidal prior to the arrival of Nell and Fen, the husband and wife anthropologists he befriends.  The couple are exhausted and sick from being pursued by one of the violent tribes they were studying and Bankson cleverly offers to find them another friendlier tribe to study.  They happily agree and although exhausted, the bonding  of like scientific minds creates a friendship that takes an interesting turn of events.  Read the book to discover what happens next.

After reading this novel, I wanted to learn more about the life of Margaret Mead.   Here are some additional titles to checkout.

Margaret Mead: A Life

With a daughter’s eye: a memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson

Letters from the field , 1925-1975

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