I just read The love affairs of Nathaniel P by Adelle Waldman, who has been compared to a modern day Edith Wharton or Jane Austen, and really enjoyed it. Coming from Leeds, I don’t know a thing about the mores of the Brooklyn literary scene, but the novel is very sharply drawn and draws you in, a comedy of manners which would appeal to 20 or 30 somethings especially.
The book is about Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Piven, a rising and self preening star in Brooklyn’s literary scene who after being a struggling author for several lean years, now has a six figure book deal and his pick of plum magazine assignments. His success also draws the attention of many desirable women and this is the great part of the book as it depicts Nate being seemingly politically correct while still critiquing women’s bodies, clothes, and looks – even though he has a “functional and frankly rather clamorous conscience”.
His beautiful ex-girlfriend Elisa and Hannah, who has brains and is also a writer, both pursue him. He is not beyond competing with friends on the status front and tries to work out why his relationships aren’t working. What happens to him in the end? Read the book, you’re in for a treat