[REVIEW] The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., by Adelle Waldman


~by Kaya Genç

Love Affairs

Henry Holt

256 pgs./$11.73


In The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., her exquisitely composed debut novel, Adelle Waldman gives us Nathaniel (Nate) Piven, a young novelist obsessed with imagining the feelings and ideas of female characters around him. Like Nate, Waldman worked as an essayist for numerous print and web publications. But despite the resemblance between them Waldman’s literary creation is a very dislikable creature: a selfish man lacking the faculty of empathy that is crucial for the novelist he is struggling to become.

On the face of it Nate is a likeable figure. He is successful, well-groomed and attractive. His prospects as a writer are excellent. He has a six-figure book deal and a growing reputation among Brooklyn’s literati. The story sets off months before the publication of his debut novel and quickly reveals how Nate’s gentlemanly façade is a mere ploy that conceals his womanising ambitions. Continue reading