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Soon to be translated into additional languages, including Chinese, Danish and Turkish. Check back here for more information.

What people are saying on Twitter:



New York writer Nate Piven’s star is on the rise. 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, who is “almost universally regarded as nice and smart, or smart and nice,” and who holds her own in conversation with his friends.

For anyone who has ever wondered why men do the things they do, Adelle Waldman plunges into the psyche of a flawed, sometimes infuriating modern male—a young man 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 or our times. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is an absorbing tale of dating in the big city—and an inside look at what one young man really thinks about sex, women and love.


“My daughter just graduated from college, but her education won’t be complete until she’s studied Waldman’s brilliant taxonomy of homo erectus brooklynitis… Waldman offers a delectable analysis of contemporary dating among literary wannabes. You might think it’d be easier to find a parking space in Manhattan than to say anything new about that subject, but this dark comedy delivers one prickling insight after another… Waldman 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. How far have we come, really, in the 50 years since John Updike’s Rabbit bounded across America, satisfying his appetites, nursing his hurt feelings and offering up his glib apologies?”
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“Ms. Waldman has sorted and cross-categorized the inhabitants of Nate’s world with a witty, often breathtaking precision… This book takes seriously the question of romantic compatibility — of why we end up with one person and not another — and foregrounds the question of whether it’s a subject even worth paying attention to. (Nate thinks it isn’t, but of course it is.) There is something beguiling about the very project of teasing out the thought processes of someone like Nate, who so often cuts and runs, avoiding spelling things out when feelings get complicated.”
—Maria Russo, New York Times

“Adelle Waldman just may be this generation’s Jane Austen, as she skewers the mating mores of today’s aristocrats, the young literary elite of Brooklyn, N.Y., in her funny and at times painfully acute debut novel.”
—Clea Simon, The Boston Globe

“[B]rilliant…a crisp, comic novel of manners and ideas… I inhaled this slim novel; now, I want to go back and read it again.”
—Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“A more deeply clever book than you might think as you first start reading it.”
—Jonathan Franzen, WNYC

“One of the most realistic, wrenching and wise depictions of single life I’ve ever read.”
—Nara Shoenberg, Chicago Tribune, “Favorite Books of 2013

“Does America need another novel about bookish young New Yorkers falling into and out of one another’s beds? Probably not. So I thought until I read Adelle Waldman’s debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.… Waldman explores the gender dynamics of a specific place (Brooklyn, mostly) at an equally specific time (now, roughly). Placed throughout the novel, however, are callbacks to the social literature of the nineteenth century—to George Eliot’s work in particular… Without a trace of cant, Waldman imagines her way into the mind of a talented, callow young man as he slides from one romantic possibility to another, and with equal acuity she imagines a reasonable young woman’s righteous response.”
—Tom Bissell, Harper’s Magazine

“Incisive and very funny… This is an impressive book, full of sharp and amusing observations about urban life, liberal pieties and modern dating—that minefield of ‘intimate inspections’ that often yields more loneliness than romance. Though Nate has an archetypal quality—his mix of lofty ideals and poor behavior is not uncommon among the triumphant ex-nerds of literary Brooklyn—Ms Waldman has skillfully rendered him both fascinating and sympathetic. He is a man of his age, though his strengths and weaknesses are timeless.”
—The Economist

“[A] pitch-perfect debut… Even if you find hipster Brooklyn alien territory, Ms. Waldman’s surgical skewering of its pretensions and hang-ups is a comic performance you shouldn’t miss.”
—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

“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… 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 desperate flights into lesbianism.”
—Lena Dunham

“An impeccably written comedy of manners.”
—Slate, “Top 10 Books of 2013”

“Waldman is terrific at describing the halting miscommunications of a relationship. Nate’s self-destructive moodiness and reverse-engineered justifications are especially well drawn; his shallow pick-a-fight thoughts may even be painfully familiar. (But really, why does she keep wearing those jeans?)”
—Jess Walter, The New York Times Book Review

“On every page of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. there is something that gives pleasure—the prose is razor sharp, the characters in all their pretensions are skewered. This month’s hot novel it may be, but this is a book that will bear repeated readings: funny, angry, subtle and sad, this is the debut of a novelist who has already achieved the real thing. Highly recommended.”
—Kevin Power, The Sunday Business Post

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is as good as everyone says.”
—Lucas Wittman, The Daily Beast, “Favorite Books of 2013”

“Waldman’s powerfully intelligent debut draws you in with its up-to-the-moment sociology of literary Brooklyn. But its real power comes from its insights into male narcissism, as embodied in Nate, one of the most appallingly memorable literary characters of the year.”
—Adam Kirsch, The New Republic, “Top Five Books of the Year”

“Waldman has an uncanny way of getting into the mind — and cold heart — of Nate… The book is an exacting character study and Waldman an excellent and witty prose stylist… [Nate] is a frog in a wax tray, sliced open and pinned back, his innermost private thoughts on display for inspection by the reader…Is Nate’s great love ever identified? How does he find the best and least damaging way of pleasing himself? 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.”
—Jennifer Gilmore, The Los Angeles Times

“In a lesser writer’s hands, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. would be didactic and moralizing, but Waldman is broadly sympathetic to her louche hero… In this, he is an outrageously well-observed stand-in for a generation of indecisive and conceited millennial man-children. But Waldman keeps him from becoming a straw man by giving him real emotional depth: He is self-aware, rueful, and still somehow unable to change. Love Affairs is the comedy of manners we need to understand what ails modern romance.”
—Adam Kushner, The National Journal, “Best Political Books of 2013”

“Waldman’s début novel, about a youngish magazine critic in Brooklyn who, despite his best intentions, manages to behave fairly odiously toward the women in his life, has stirred up a good deal of conversation… But it’s such an elegant and humane book that it transcends much of the would-be debate. This is a modern novel of manners… Waldman’s broad subject—the tricky boundary between self-sufficiency and self-interest—probably concerns men and women alike.”
—Nathan Heller,,“Best Books of 2013”

“[A]n enormously enjoyable debut… [This] elegant book is quaveringly attuned to the mores of our times… Engagingly self-aware and pitiably self-involved, Nate is a triumphant creation.”
—David Annand, Telegraph (UK)

“With her eye for social folly in the streets and restaurants of New York, Waldman resembles Edith Wharton… Like Austen, she has love for her characters, whom she knows better than they know themselves…The pleasures of this novel—its lucidity and wry humor—are mixed with the sting of recognizing the essential unfairness of the sexual mores of our moment: after years of liberated fun, many women begin to feel terribly lonely when realize they want a commitment; men, who seem to have all the power to choose, are also stuck with an unasked-for power to inflict hurt.”
—Sasha Weiss,

“The way Waldman structures Nate and Hannah’s arguments feels akin to fight choreography: vicious and violent, yet almost beautiful in its meticulousness. This is Waldman’s debut, but she brings Franzen-level domestic chaos…a magnificent trick of making distant experiences feel like familiar heartaches.”
—Kevin Nguyen, Grantland

“Waldman offers the reader a masterclass in authorial irony… brilliantly observed.”
—The Financial Times

“Hilariously astute.”
—Megan O’Grady, Vogue Magazine

“Has the same verve and poise of another New York debut novel, Bright Lights, Big City.”
—Maggie O’Farrell, Irish Times “Books of the Year”

“Waldman’s gift is to give voice to the minute calculations and fickle desires of modern manhood.”
—GQ, “The Best Debut Novel of the Summer”

“A funny and highly readable novel.”
—Tom Perotta, Sandusky Register, “Best Books of 2013”

“I didn’t read too many books published this year, but I did read The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., because everybody kept talking about it. And then I kept talking about it, too… it was an overdue reminder of why I need to be reading more novels in the first place: their unique ability to discomfit and delight their readers.”
—Ben Crair, The New Republic, “Best Books of 2013”

“Waldman writes with great acuity about the hazards and rewards of dating in an age when thirty is the new twenty.”
—The New Yorker

“I have told everyone I know to read this book, and now I’m telling you to buy this book. Nathaniel is a guy who considers himself one of the good ones—sensitive, smart, caring. He went to Harvard. He lives in Brooklyn. He has a book deal. He thinks nasty things about his girlfriend Hannah’s arms. In short, he makes me insane. Hannah’s attempts to be fun, cool, super laid-back, and easygoing also kill me. We’ve all been in relationships like this, and please, read this book!”
—Laura Kostelny, D Magazine (Dallas)

“Fiendishly Readable…The meat of the plot is Nate’s relationship with a cute writer from Cleveland named Hannah. They fall for each other; enjoy each other; and then, as he wises to her imperfections, he draws away from her with casual carelessness… it is precisely because better versions of Nate could do Nate-like things—and, because nobody is perfect, occasionally do do Nate-like things—that Waldman can use Nate to challenge his fellow menfolk to live up to the high standards they claim to espouse.”
—Marc Tracy, The New Republic

“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.”
—Thomas Chatterton Williams, The San Francisco Chronicle

“Deftly and very comically renders contemporary litty Brooklyn according to the rules of the nineteenth-century novel.”
—Christian Lorentzen, Bookforum, “Best Novels of 2013”

“[A] subtle account of the machinations of desire.”
—Times Literary Supplement

“Adelle Waldman’s The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.… thoroughly nail[s] this particular moment in big-city romantic life. The book’s been rightly praised for Waldman’s acute first-person gender-reversal in the narration: she writes brilliantly as the newly lothario-ish novelist and book reviewer Nathaniel Piven as he trawls through a wake of disappointed Brooklyn women. You’d be hard pressed to find a millennial guy with bookish pretensions who wouldn’t leave this novel without feeling totally, nakedly found out.”
—August Brown, LA Review of Books

“We 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 satire, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., we have a valuable new anthropology of the type. In a debut novel told from his point of view, Waldman deftly skewers the new literary man… with his stylish torment, his self-seriousness, his dangerous admixture of grandiosity and insecurity, and old fashioned condescension toward women gussied up as sensitivity, his maddening irony, his very specific way of treating people badly while worrying about liberal politics… [An] excellent, funny novel.”
—Katie Roiphe, Slate

“A discomfittingly thrilling read.”
—L.V. Anderson, Slate

“In the tradition of writers from Austen to Tolstoy, Ms. Waldman delights in showing us the way we rationalize our treatment of others (“Of course, the women ought to have listened when he told them he wasn’t looking for anything serious”) and she writes vividly, capturing the dynamics of a dinner party or describing the lights on the East River bridges… [S]he captures romantic dysfunction and the erosion of love…[the] passive-aggressive conversations about bagels, alienating sex so one-sided ‘it might as well be masturbation,’ alternating waves of disgust and tenderness…”
—Zoë Lescaze, The New York Observer

“I started to read the book and was immediately struck by Waldman’s brilliance as a novelist of manners, a sort of Edith Wharton of our own Gilded Age 2.0… [A]s if Tom Wolfe’s sincere cry for reportage has been cross-pollinated (at a local organic greenhouse) with David Foster Wallace’s ‘E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction,’ which argued, back in 1993, that television had already colonized the irony that had helped previous generations of writers stay fresh.”
—Baynard Woods, Baltimore City Paper

“Although most reviews of Waldman’s book namecheck Lena Dunham and Girls as influences, antiquated literary terms like Künstlerroman (artist’s novel) do a better job of describing the book… With her masterly use of dramatic irony, Waldman handles beautifully the confusions and contradictions of Nate. She presents us with the phenomenology of the mind of a young male writer. Her imaginative faculties cross the border of gender and brings precious material to the reader’s side. While finishing the novel I couldn’t help but think of Junot Díaz and This is How You Lose Her, his latest book, where female characters seem destined to be endlessly deceived. When compared to Yunior’s rich inner world, those female characters are of little interest to us. Waldman’s attempt at imagining the other sex is much more successful.”
—Kaya Genç, Pank Magazine

“Nate comes across as a fully realized, vibrant character in part because he’s messy and inconsistent. He wants to be a nice guy, but he’s not always able to overcome his immature selfishness, and this dichotomy frustrates and confuses him, presenting a cage that he’s aware of, and that he made, but that he cannot escape… Waldman paints that conundrum in a full, rich palette — the small vanities, the conflicting sensibilities, the binary desires, in short, the complicated and uncomfortable state of contemporary masculinity for an erudite, urbane man in his 30s — with good humor and sentences that are often striking for their visual richness and acuity.”
—Brian Gresko, The LA Review of Books

“One of the things that stands out most about this novel is that characters of both sexes are completely realized, something that just doesn’t happen as often as you’d like.”
—Kristin Iversen, Brooklyn Magazine, “10 Best Summer Books by Brooklyn Authors

“Like 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.”
—Marion Winik, Newsday

“Waldman [nails] the mental landscape of Nate Piven, your typical twenty-something self-proclaimed sensitive dude, who’s really not all that sensitive when it comes to women. I finished the book a year ago, but still find myself thinking of guys who cluelessly fuck with my girlfriends as ‘Nates.'”
—Julie Buntin, Cosmopolitan Magazine, “The 22 Best Books of the Year”

“Sometimes it’s more complicated than ‘he’s just not that into you.’ A delightful comedy of manners.”
—People Magazine

“Reminiscent of classic realist novels from authors like Graham Greene or Henry James.”
—Megan Fishmann, BookPage

“Waldman lends an acerbic wit and a remarkable grasp of the male psyche to her rendering of Nate’s ill-starred tumbles into the dating pool…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.”
—Catherine Straut, Elle Magazine

“What gives [The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.] its irresistible appeal is Waldman’s acutely wrought execution. What she’s done here is vividly composed—a cutting comedy of manners masquerading as a coming-of-age tale.”
—Eric Allen Been, The Chicago Tribune

“For all the writers currently stealing around Brooklyn, until now no novel has depicted that subset in all its waffling, overeducated glory…Nate’s Brooklyn is one that Woody Allen might have imagined.”
—Sarah Stodola, The Daily Beast

“Early 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.”
—Jim Higgins, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“[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.”
—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“One of the best debuts of 2013.”
—Jason Diamond, Flavorwire

“The dialogue is pitch-perfect… Waldman’s characters are distinctive and impressively rendered… Nathaniel P. is an impressive entrance, sharply written and with plenty of authenticity.”
—Josh Daly, TimeOut New York

“I’m not sure if The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. should be described as a social comedy or a social tragedy, but it reads like an instant classic.”
—Joe Meyers,

“Every summer has a dozen buzzy debuts. If you read only one, let it be this withering yet warm comedy of manners, which follows a literary gadfly as he learns some trenchant truths about courtship and romance.”
—Emily Landau, Reader’s Digest Canada

“[Adelle Waldman’s] prose recalls the sharp wit of Jeffrey Eugenides and the a-ha realness of Nick Hornby.”
—The Frisky

“It’ll have you screaming because you have so dated this guy.”
—Glamour Magazine, “The 20 Next Big Things”

“This big-hearted yet brutally honest novel about finding love in the big city is a major eye-opener.”
—Cosmopolitan Magazine

“If you ever wondered what that guy could have possibly been thinking (or been that guy and still found yourself without a clue), you’ll probably laugh, scowl, and hide your eyes in equal measure as you page through this hilarious, smart-as-hell debut. An elegant, half-satirical, half-sweet novel about modern love, New York, gender roles, and muddling through.”
—Emily Temple, “Twenty Highbrow Books to Read on the Beach,” Flavorwire

“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 deBotton

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 Jonny Valentine: A Novel

“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, author of Indecision

“Wow. What a psychologically astute, and very, very witty novel—about a young male you would think you might hate (but you don’t; or, at least, I didn’t), by a young female writer you can’t help but love.”
—Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances

“I can’t remember the last novel this good about being young and smart and looking for love in the big city. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. reads as if one of the top tier 19th-century novelists zeroed her social x-ray eyes onto present-moment Brooklyn. Up-and-coming writers and artists everywhere will be squirming with uncomfortable recognition of themselves, their friends, and their psyches; far more readers will be thanking Adelle Waldman for this hilarious, big-hearted, ruthlessly intelligent, and ridiculously well-written novel.”
—Charles Bock, author of the best-selling novel Beautiful Children

“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: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter

“A hysterically honest ethnographic study of the male hipster in his natural habitat (Brooklyn), The Love Affairs of Nathaniel 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

“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

“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

“Deliciously funny, sharply observed, elegantly told, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is the best debut 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 just “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 the novel A Fortunate Age

To read an excerpt, click here.

For the Reading Group Guide, click here.

To read about responses to the book from men, click here.