Nathaniel P fans, rejoice! Adelle Waldman has written an e-novella prequel from the perspective of Nate’s sharp-witted, truth-telling, Israeli journalist girl friend (but not girlfriend), Aurit. It’s out on May 6 and we can. not. wait.
In case you’re wondering what this is all about: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. was one of the most praised, obsessed-over novels of 2013. (And not just by me!) It’s about a charming, incorrigible Brooklyn novelist—the eponymous Nate Piven—who goes about his romantic life with a startling lack of emotional insight, wooing lovely, clever, complicated women and then dropping them when they don’t live up to his romantic/sexual/intellectual fantasies. He’s the sort of dude who claims to want a smart, feminist girlfriend—and that’s not untrue—but what he really wants is a pretty, sexy one. The drama of the novel is driven by Nate’s competing brain/penis desires, which I know sounds like a deeply unoriginal premise, but it is actually surprisingly compelling! Nate is honest, douchey, likable, and sympathetic all at once. You sort of want to pin him under a microscope and examine him, which is exactly what Waldman does.
Anyway! This new short e-book, New Year’s, is a prequel to the novel told from the perspective of Aurit, Nate’s whip-smart, tell-it-like-it-is Israeli friend. She’s the one who calls him out on his shit when it comes to dating and ladies, so this should be a treat. (And, if you’re the sort of reader who gets a littttle too emotionally invested in the lives of fictional people (ahem), cathartic.) Here’s the synopsis:
A few years before the start of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., twentysomething writer Nathaniel Piven admires a piece of published work by a young woman named Aurit Arazi, and writes her an email expressing his appreciation. After this introduction, they meet for a drink. At the time, Nate is dating gorgeous, moody Elisa, and Aurit has an older, successful novelist boyfriend named Carter, but Nate and Aurit become friends. In the months, even years, that pass, Nate’s and Aurit’s romantic partners change, but their friendship carries on. And then, one New Year’s eve, it seems that the nature of their relationship may change. Like many readers who got to know Nate P. in The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Aurit is pretty sure that, when it comes to relationships with women, Nate can be an asshole, but is there more to him than that? In New Year’s, author Adelle Waldman exposes the mating psyche of one brilliant young female writer, with the same shockingly accurate eye that brought the world Nathaniel P.