The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.: A Novel (Paperback)
The national bestseller, named a best book of the year by The New Yorker, NPR, Slate, The Economist, The New Republic, Bookforum, Baltimore City Paper, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Reader, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and many others. A New York Times Editors' Choice and a Washington Post Notable book.
A bold debut novel by a brilliant young woman about the romantic life of a brilliant young literary man.
"Adelle Waldman's debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., scrutinizes Nate and the subculture that he thrives in with a patient, anthropological detachment. Ms. Waldman has sorted and cross-categorized the inhabitants of Nate's world with a witty, often breathtaking precision..."â€”Maria Russo, The New York Times
Writer Nate Piven's star is rising. After several lean and striving years, he has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Juliet, the hotshot business reporter; Elisa, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, now friend; and Hannah, "almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice," who holds her own in conversation with his friends. When one relationship grows more serious, Nate is forced to consider what it is he really wants.
In Nate's 21st-century literary world, wit and conversation are not at all dead. Is romance?
Novelist Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a flawed, sometimes infuriating modern manâ€”one who thinks of himself as beyond superficial judgment, yet constantly struggles with his own status anxiety, who is drawn to women, yet has a habit of letting them down in ways that may just make him an emblem of our times. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is an absorbing tale of one young man's search for happinessâ€”and an inside look at how he really thinks about women, sex and love.
About the Author
Adelle Waldman is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University's journalism school. She worked as a reporter at the New Haven Register and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal's website. Her articles also have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and other national publications. She is the author of the novels The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P and Help Wanted. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
â€śA delectable analysis of contemporary dating.â€ť â€”The Washington Post
â€śPowerfully intelligent.â€ť â€”The New Republic
â€śNate is almost too real. Mark my words: This book will inspire laughter, chills of recognition, and flights into lesbianism.â€ť â€”Lena Dunham
â€śWaldman takes a clichĂ© and turns it on its ear.â€ť â€”Julie Elliott, Library Journal
â€śIncisive and very funny...This is an impressive book, full of sharp and amusing observations about urban life, liberal pieties and modern dating....Though Nate has an archetypal quality...Ms. Waldman has skillfully rendered him both fascinating and sympathetic. He is a man of his age, though his strengths and weaknesses are timeless.â€ť â€”The Economist
â€śAdelle Waldman's debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., scrutinizes Nate and the subculture that he thrives in with a patient, anthropological detachment. Ms. Waldman has sorted and cross-categorized the inhabitants of Nate's world with a witty, often breathtaking precision...â€ť â€”Maria Russo, The New York Times
â€śAdelle Waldman just may be this generation's Jane Austen.â€ť â€”The Boston Globe
â€śI inhaled this slim novel; now, I want to go back and read it again, to savor Waldman's mordant take on work, love and cannibalism among the up-and-coming Brooklyn intelligentsiaâ€¦. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is a sharp and assured tale about a sharp and assured young man, who often acts like a dog.â€ť â€”Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
â€śWaldman's brilliant taxonomy of homo erectus brooklynitis. I'm making [my daughter] read The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. in exchange for paying off her student loans. Not that she'll need much persuadingâ€¦. Neither chick lit nor lad lit, The Love Affairs... attains something like the universal truths an older female writer articulated by recording the antics of a group of genteel folk in early 19th-century Bath.â€ť â€”Ron Charles, The Washington Post
â€ś[A] pitch-perfect debutâ€¦In the demure tradition of the comedy of manners, Ms. Waldman is rarely mocking or mean-spirited.... A comic performance you shouldn't miss.â€ť â€”The Wall Street Journal
â€śA smart, engaging 21st-century comedy of manners in which the debut novelist Adelle Waldman crawls convincingly around inside the head of one Nathaniel (Nate) Piven.â€ť â€”Jess Walter, The New York Times Book Review
â€śFiendishly readableâ€¦Most importantly, Waldman gets the big detail right: When it comes to women, Nate's "clamorous conscience" comes into conflict with the exercise of his natural advantages as a single, successful, attractive heterosexual man in a sexual economy that, for him, is very much a buyer's marketâ€¦. He is misogynistic and ashamed of his misogyny.â€ť â€”Marc Tracy, The New Republic
â€śWhile Lena Dunham's TV series Girls and Noah Baumbach's film Frances Ha have reaffirmed Brooklyn's status as the capital of hipster cool, Waldman's debut novel offers a more critical look at the district's arty milieu... This is brilliantly observed stuff.â€ť â€”David Evans, Financial Times (London)
â€śEvery so often... a novel comes along that actually deserves the hype. Adelle Waldman's outstanding debut is one of these....It fixes for all time on the page a very particular type of man-- the contemporary up-and-coming literary intellectual.....Psychologically astute, subtle, funny and whip-smart, this is a novel that anyone interested in how we live now should read....Highly recommended.â€ť â€”The Sunday Business Post (London)
â€śAlthough the novel is about his love affairs in Brooklyn, this is really a novel that reveals--astutely--how Nate thinksâ€¦.The book is an exacting character study and Waldman an excellent and witty prose stylistâ€¦. [Nate] is a frog in a wax tray, sliced open and pinned back, his innermost private thoughts on display for inspection by the readerâ€¦.One must read the magical ending to understand that although his thoughts on women will leave many outraged, his dissected frog's heart still beats.â€ť â€”Jennifer Gilmore, Los Angeles Times
â€śâ€¦The Brooklyn novelâ€¦ achieves full maturity with The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Adelle Waldman's enormously enjoyable debut.â€ť â€”Telegraph (UK)
â€śLike a contemporary Jane Austen, Adelle Waldman unpacks every nuance of modern mating mores in her debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P....Bravo to Adelle Waldman for getting inside the psyche of Homo erectus literaticus, and for not making it as easy as it should be to hate him. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is good, evil fun.â€ť â€”Marion Winik, Newsday
â€śWaldman has written a book of stately revenge, exposing all that is shallow and oblivious about Nate, and men like him. But it's also a book of beautifully modulated sympathy--for men as well as women....With her eye for social folly in the streets and restaurants of New York, Waldman resembles Edith Wharton.â€ť â€”Sasha Weiss, NewYorker.com
â€śA funny and surprisingly sympathetic examination of the romantic sociopathy of youthful litterateursâ€¦Waldman captures smart-enough literary party patter so wellâ€¦ that many of her readers may find themselves squirming in hot-faced recognitionâ€¦Placed throughout the novel, however, are callbacks to the social literature of the nineteenth century--to George Eliot's work in particular....â€ť â€”Harper's Magazine
â€śSo much truth in Nathaniel P. that I just can't stop reading it. Oh, it's one hot bookâ€¦.We read fiction for truth. And it's there in Nathaniel Pâ€¦.This is a guy's book. You might classify it as chick lit. You might think it's too narrow, about the Brooklyn literary scene. But the personal is universal. And there's a lot of personal in Nathaniel P. And the only thing that matters is the personalâ€¦.Read this book.â€ť â€”Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter
â€śA fabulous bookâ€¦It's really greatâ€¦.This is such a modern portrait. This guy will be so utterly recognizable to all of us and it's very subtle and I just think a wonderfully written book. I recommend you all get it.â€ť â€”Hanna Rosin, Slate DoubleX Gabfest
â€śSmart and enthrallingâ€¦Waldman's achievement isn't to glorify so much as to dissect, with an uncommonly sharp eye, a minor romantic failure in all its contemporary complexity and evanescent significance.â€ť â€”San Francisco Chronicle
â€ś[Written] with courage and determination and more than a little bit of moxie.â€ť â€”Baltimore Sun
â€ś[T]hose who pass on Nathaniel P. will...likely be dating themselves, especially if they're still using Nick Hornby or, worse, John Updike as a guide to the modern male psyche....â€ť â€”The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
â€śEarly readers of this novel have already started arguing about how unlikable Piven is, but there's no debating Waldman's success in etching such a fine portrait.â€ť â€”Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
â€śWe have lately heard ad infinitum the new sensitive literary man's account of his life and times...what we haven't yet heard enough of is the smart literary woman's view of him. With Adelle Waldman's funny, provocative satireâ€¦we have a valuable new anthropology of the type....[An] excellent funny novel.â€ť â€”Katie Roiphe, Slate
â€ś[A] provocative debut novel... A discomfitingly thrilling read.â€ť â€”L. V. Anderson, Slate
â€śWaldman is a staggeringly talented prose stylist, easy and elegant in every particular, learned, undeceived, and with a dash of sly, quiet humor in nearly every line...â€ť â€”The Awl
â€śThis is Waldman's debut, but she brings Franzen-level domestic chaosâ€¦a magnificent trick of making distant experiences feel like familiar heartaches.â€ť â€”Grantland
â€śI basically stayed on the couch for an entire day reading it; I was that riveted by Waldman's ability to get into the brain of Nate Piven.â€ť â€”Mary Pols, MSN Page-Turner
â€ś[This] lovable antihero quickly becomes irresistible to us...The upshot: a thoroughly, hilariously of-the-moment tale that marvelously captures what it's really like to be young, smart, and looking for love in the big city--from a new writer to watch.â€ť â€”Elle Magazine
â€śA must-read if you've ever dated.â€ť â€”Glamour (Aug 2013)
â€śEasily summer's most buzzed-about debut.â€ť â€”Megan O'Grady, Vogue.com
â€śAn honest look inside the head of thirtysomething Nate Piven. It'll have you screaming because you've so dated this guy.â€ť â€”Glamour Magazine, "The 20 Next Big Things"
â€śReminiscent of classic realist novels from authors like Graham Greene or Henry James, this delightful debut jumps headfirst into the mind of one man, revealing what he really thinks about women, dating and success.â€ť â€”Megan Fishmann, Bookpage
â€śWritten from a dude's POV, this big-hearted yet brutally honest novel about finding love in a big city is a major eye-opener.â€ť â€”Cosmopolitan Magazine
â€śThe 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.â€ť â€”Vogue
â€śThe characters that populate Waldman's world are artistic, creative, funny and intelligent--except when it comes to matters of the heart.â€ť â€”Kirkus
â€śAn acute study of present-day struggles with intimacyâ€¦[Waldman] navigates the male psyche and a highly entertaining hipster mindset, and sneaks in an unexpected, understated ending that bringsâ€¦a satisfying poignancy.â€ť â€”Publishers Weekly
â€ś[A] sharply written first novel.â€ť â€”Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist