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Bold, touching and very, very funny – a debut novel by a brilliant young woman about the coming-of-age of a brilliant young literary man

Nathaniel Piven is a rising star in Brooklyn's literary scene. After several lean, striving years and an early life as a class-A nerd, he now (to his surprise) has a lucrative book deal, his pick of plum magazine assignments, and the attentions of many desirable women: Juliet, the hotshot business journalist; Elisa, Nate's gorgeous ex-girlfriend, now friend; Hannah, lively and fun and 'almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice'.

In this twenty-first-century literary enclave, wit and conversation are not at all dead. But is romance? In The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a sensitive, flawed, modern man – to reveal the view of the new world from his garret window, and the view of women from his overactive mind.

Reviews

Deeply clever...a writer to watch.

Jonathan Franzen

With this novel, Waldman has done the heretofore impossible: get at the core of the modern female state through the roiling inner monologue of a man who loves to hate women. Her protagonist is well-meaning, and that may be the most sobering part. Nate is almost too real. Mark my words: this book will inspire laughter, chills of recognition and flights into lesbianism.

Lena Dunham

Adelle Waldman’s The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is that most unusual and wondrous of things: a novel that wants to educate our hearts. Beneath her highly graceful and entertaining prose, Waldman has a moral project in mind, she seeks to extend our sympathies and (with great charm) shame us into becoming better versions of ourselves. Her novel is constantly witty and profound. It is also a reminder that novels can be far more than pleasant diversions, they can be highly sophisticated tools that help us to grow up.

Alain de Botton

I can't remember the last novel this good about being young and smart and looking for love in the big city. It’s as if one of the top tier nineteenth-century novelists zeroed in their social x-ray eyes onto present-day Brooklyn. I bet untold readers will be squirming with uncomfortable recognition; many more will be thanking Adelle Waldman for this hilarious, big-hearted, ruthlessly intelligent, and ridiculously well-written novel.

Charles Bock (author of the bestselling Beautiful Children)

Deliciously funny, sharply observed, elegantly told, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is the best debut novel I’ve encountered in years, the best novel about New York, and the best novel about contemporary manhood and the crazy state of gender roles and ‘contemporary’ life. With a pitch-perfect balance of satire and sympathy, reminiscent of Mary McCarthy’s The Group, Joshua Ferris’ Then We Came to the End, and Jay McInerney’s Brightness Falls, Adelle Waldman’s voice is nevertheless entirely – and unabashedly – her own.

Joanna Smith Rakoff (author of A Fortunate Age)

[A] crisp biting satire following the dating morals of the modern man … a blisteringly modern book.

Grazia

Bracing and astute. Waldman writes these crisp, smart sentences that are every bit as thoughtful as her characters – people whose relationships founder and flourish in ways that will captivate readers from page one.

Fiona Maazel (author of Last Last Chance and Woke Up Lonely)

Novelist Adelle Waldman does a very tricky thing: she succeeds in crossing the gender line, imagining the world from behind the eyes of a male character both sympathetically and unsentimentally. This former young-literary-man-in-Brooklyn found himself cringing in recognition.

William Deresiewicz (author of A Jane Austen Education)

This sharp, unsentimental debut novel is as fiercely intelligent as it is deliciously cheeky and well-observed. Literary Brooklyn and its striving inhabitants may never again be so unsparingly – and so winningly – portrayed. I can't wait to read more from Adelle Waldman.

Joanna Hershon (author of The German Bride and A Dual Inheritance)

A hysterically honest ethnographic study of the male hipster in his natural habitat (Brooklyn), The Love Affairs of Nathanial P. is the sympathetic portrait of a terminally-adolescent, over-educated, indecisive and slightly scruffy thirty-something. Nate is so convincingly drawn you’ll want to hug him, lecture him and shake some sense into him simultaneously. Waldman has deftly written a laugh-out-loud treatise on why he didn’t call.

Allison Amend (author of A Nearly Perfect Copy)

Adelle Waldman writes about very twenty-first century manners and sexual mores with a deep fluency of psychological intelligence reminiscent of a nineteenth century classic. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is a novel to admire, even – or especially – when you are wincing at its insights.

Benjamin Kunkel

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is one of the most nuanced and precise portraits of the muddled male mind since Nick Hornby's High Fidelity. But Adelle Waldman doesn't stop there; the novel also presents from-the-trenches insights into the status anxiety swirling around these young and ambitious literary New Yorkers. Shot through with wit and carried along by graceful prose, Waldman's debut is a joy to read.

Teddy Wayne (author of The Love Song of Johnny Valentine: A Novel)

Dry, sharp, and with the kind of wit that makes you wince, Adelle Waldman’s snappy, smart, painfully funny insight into the modern world of romance, might make you rethink the whole dating thing.

Sunday Express

Waldman’s debut novel captures the excitement of dating, the slow attrition of relationships running aground, and the underlying sense of slightly different worlds.

Sunday Times

[T]he Brooklyn novel achieves full maturity with [this] enormously enjoyable debut…her elegant book is quiveringly attuned to the mores of our times.

Sunday Telegraph

Her writing displays awareness that the Brooklynites middle-class problems don’t amount to a hill of fair trade coffee beans in the real world. This is brilliantly observed stuff.

Financial Times

A smart, engaging, twenty-first century comedy of manners… Waldman shows herself to be a promising novelist and a savvy observer of human nature…terrific.

New York Times

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.[is] a hilariously astute portrait of a hopelessly self-obsessed Brooklyn writer as a sad young literary man, a Peter Pan for a new, deeply ironic millennium.

Vogue

[A] deft first novel…George Eliot provides the book's epigraph: "To give a true account of what passes within us, something else is necessary besides sincerity." Nate may not be able to give us a true account, but his mordantly astute creator can.

Hermione Hoby, Guardian

A writer with a Wharton-esque eye for metropolitan mores, the author delivers top-drawer social satire and a clear-eyed view of the male psyche.

Independent

The Brooklyn novel – the American equivalent of Britain’s Hampstead novel – reaches full maturity with this enormously enjoyable debut about sad you literary men and women.

Sunday Telegraph

clever, funny and razor-sharp

Independent on Sunday

thoughtful and ambitious

Guardian

Excellent and astutely observed

Evening Standard

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099558996

    July 1, 2014

    Windmill Books

    272 pages

    RRP $27.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
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    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9781448150236

    August 1, 2013

    Cornerstone Digital

    272 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

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