An exclusive Authorlink AUDIO Interview with Hilary Thayer Hamann, author of Anthropology of an American Girl, a Novel (Spiegel & Grau/Random House 2010)
May 2010 Edition
Novelist Hilary Thayer Hamann
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Hilary Thayer Hamann self published her novel, ANTHROPOLOGY OF AN AMERICAN GIRL, in 2003. This summer, Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of the world's largest publisher, Random House, will release the book with a national marketing campaign. Her work is being compared to J.D. Salinger, Elizabeth Wharton, Jane Austen and other literary icons.
In this intimate conversation with Authorlink Editor Doris Booth, Hilary talks about what kept her going for ten years in the development and publication of her work. She discusses the poignant themes in her novel–the need to stay connected to the world, the struggle to live authentically and to be true to one's self. She urges authors to save time for themselves and to believe that becoming published can happen to them. Good content comes from self sacrifice, says Hamann. She expresses the need to let go of other people's expectations. Hamann also talks candidly about her darkest moments as she tries to "make meaning" through her writing.
HILARY THAYER HAMANN was born and raised in Manhattan until the age of seven. For the remainder of her childhood, she spent weekends and summers in the Bronx and attended school in Sag Harbor and East Hampton, Long Island. She lives in Sag Harbor, New York. Visit her at www.anthropologyofanamericangirl.com.
Praise for ANTHROPOLOGY OF AN AMERICAN GIRL:
Few women could read this book without finding parallels to their own lives. It's the story of your mother, sister, aunt or best friendof you. AMERICAN GIRL is poignantly devastating because it is your life. A beautiful reminder of reality. —Columbia Spectator
Not only the fictional account of an American girls ascension from childhood, but a commentary on contemporary American life. —Sag Harbor Express
A psychological journey along the lines of Catcher in the Rye. The book openly and honestly addresses sex, drugs, relationships, and personal growth. —Broadside
H. T. Hamann has created a masterpiece for the 1980s as Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, and J. D. Salinger did for earlier generations. [Eveline] is truly a heroic character, able to admit her errors and learn from them. Space cannot adequately cover all the wisdom and downright fun within this large, incisive novel. —Best Reviews
Hamanns prose, perfectly and consistently written in Evelines voice, has been compared to Carson McCullers, Harper Lee and Willa Cather. In fact, Tom Wolfe, James Joyce, and Emily Dickinson are more appropriate. Read this for its poetic narrative, its wealth of metaphors that cast the familiar into the extraordinary, and its romantically uplifting ending. —Romance Times Book Club Top Pick (Highest Rating)
This beautifully written, poetic novel is leaps and bounds ahead of the typical coming-of-age novel. A throwback to the days when the joy from reading came from the quality of writing. It is rare today to see a novel targeted to a below-30 audience that avoids the usual stereotypes and seeks greater meaning from the characters relationships. The book is in the style of a confessional, but it laces poetry and brilliant descriptions throughout so it sometimes seems as if you are reading a painting. A book you will savorI did not want it to end. —Beyond Chron,San Francisco
Startling honesty and accuracy. The narrator could be anyone: she could be you, which is part of the beauty of the book. Reading Anthropology is like suddenly developing telepathy: you can hear every one of Evelines thoughts. The only catch is, Eveline can also hear yours. Exhilarating. —Daily Californian
An extraordinary debut, updating the 19th century social-psychological novel of romance and manners. Like Jane Austen, George Eliot, or Edith Wharton, H. T. Hamann critiques her era and culture through the tale of a precocious young woman buffeted by the accidents, values, and consequences of her age. Poetically rendered, astute perceptions. It rivets through a rawness of complex emotion. Hamann's particular gift is language, syntax-laden with metaphor and analogy which fly effortlessly from Evie's philosophical, sensual way of seeing. Gorgeous detail and nuanced thought. An insightful, page-turning read. —Providence Journal