Anthropology of an American Girl: A Novel

Front Cover
Spiegel & Grau, 2010 - Fiction - 606 pages
22 Reviews
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.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lauri804 - LibraryThing

I started out really liking this book, relating to the character, the time period but after about 250 pages she got boring. By then I never even cared what happened to her. Maybe later I'll revisit it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LadyMuck - LibraryThing

Atrocious navel-gazing nonsense. Boring teenagers spout banalities, while the reader sighs when looking at just how many pages of this rubbish is left to wade through. I lasted 100 pages. I think I deserve a medal. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Hilary Thayer Hamann was born and raised in New York. After her parents divorced, she was shuttled between their respective homes in the Hamptons and the Bronx. She attended New York University, where she received a B.F.A. in Film & Television Production and Dramatic Writing from Tisch School of the Arts, an M.A. in Cinema Studies from the Graduate School of Arts and Science, and a Certificate in Anthropological Filmmaking from NYU's Center for Media, Culture, and History.
 
Ms. Hamann edited and contributed to Categories--On The Beauty of Physics (2006), an interdisciplinary educational book that was included in Louisiana State University's list of top 25 non-fiction books written since 1950.
 
As the assistant to Jacques d'Amboise, founder and artistic director of the National Dance Institute, Ms. Hamann produced We Real Cool, a short film based on the Gwendolyn Brooks poem, directed by Academy Award-winning director Emile Ardolino. She also coordinated an international exchange with students from America and the then Soviet Union based on literature, music, and art. She has worked in New York's film, publishing, and entertainment industries, and is co-director of Films on the Haywall, a classic film series in Bridgehampton, New York.
 
Ms. Hamann lives in Manhattan and on Long Island.

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