10 ~ Euphoria by Lily King

I really enjoyed reading this book. It has been a while since I have read anything Anthropology related and having it in the form of a fiction novel was perfect for my interests. The setting is the Territory of New Guinea and it is a narrative about three budding anthropologists looking to research undiscovered cultures. The anthropologists were excited to use a method of research which was quite new during the time the novel was set in, participant observation. The anthropologists wanted to immerse themselves in the culture for an extended period of time to be able to provide a holistic view of a society and record their religious beliefs, social hierarchy, family lineages and political systems.

Alone with a tribe called Kiona, Andrew Bankson finds himself feeling isolated and attempting suicide. His ambitions are revived by the arrival a of a married pair of anthropologists Nell and Fen. Nell is overenthusiastic and very successful with her research. Her husband Fen struggles to keep up with the data collection and recording that comes naturally to his wife. Fen  gets swept up in his desire to become a member of the community he is studying; he immerses himself soo much that he often neglects to record any research at all.  This story shows how Bankson, Nell and Fen’s lives weave together with dire consequences in New Guinea. I would highly recommend Euphoria, although if you are like myself and are a quick reader it won’t take you long to finish it.





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