Euphoria by Lily King
This is an intoxicating one, my friends. It’s short and perfect.
Nell Stone, King’s character who is based off of the 1930’s anthropologist Margaret Mead, describes euphoria as the “moment when you’ve finally got a handle on a place…that moment the place feels entirely yours.” The novel reimagines the 1933 collaboration in New Guinea involving Mead, her husband, Reo Fortune, and her future husband, Gregory Bateson. Reality and history are thinly veiled; King’s characters are Nell, Fen, and Bankson. They meet in an episode of romantic despair.
Euphoria is about competition, desire, and scholarship. The triangle’s passion for their research and for each other is downright steamy. Love and desire blossoms through fieldwork, through working side-by-side at typewriters. At their most deliriously, euphorically ambitious, these scientists want to “rip the stars from the sky and write anew.”
Euphoria is DEVASTATING…ly beautiful. But also devastating. King is a queen. Her prose is on point and efficient. Please read.