Reading guide for Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Anthropology of an American Girl

A Novel

By Hilary Thayer Hamann

Anthropology of an American Girl
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: May 2010,
    624 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2011,
    640 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. The novel begins with a description of Eveline Auerbach and Kate Cassirer, teenagers who have been best friends since childhood. Discuss the nature of their friendship.  Discuss the role of female friendship in the novel.
  2. Discuss the dissolving bonds of Eveline's early friendships as she journeys from the relative safety of childhood to the relative dangers, instability, and compromise of adulthood.
  3. Evie goes from being a poor girl living freely to being a wealthy young woman living a compromised life and sacrificing opportunities for fully realized life and love. What does the author seem to be saying about aspirations?
  4. There are three men in Evie's life: Jack Fleming, Mark Ross, and Harrison Rourke. Discuss her relationship with each. Why would the author choose to describe the life of a young woman in terms of the men she loves?
  5. When Eveline meets Harrison Rourke, she experiences a type of epiphany. She feels herself a part of life, and of living in a way she never had previously. How would you describe what it is that she experiences and what it means to her.
  6. The use of voice in this book has been described as Holden-Caulfield like. Talk about the importance of voice, and what the internal isolation does for the main character. Is her voice truthful? Does she reveal everything?
  7. The death of Jack represents a turning point for Eveline, and yet they had been separated for years at the time of his death. Discuss what the loss of Jack means to her character.
  8. Evie has a complicated relationship with her own mother, Irene, an intellectual and emotional free spirited rebel spawned from 1960s counter culture. How does she seem to come to terms with this in the end?
  9. Anthropology has been compared to literary classics. Discuss what makes a book a classic and whether or not you feel this book has the makings of one.
  10. This book is a fictional attempt to "observe" a girl in American culture. If this is an "anthropology of an American girl," what does the novel appear to be saying about being an American, or a girl, and an American girl?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Spiegel & Grau. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Self-Publishing Successes

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

Information is the currency of democracy

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.