Hilary Thayer Hamann self-published her first novel, Anthropology of an American Girl, because she wanted to have control over her own work, and the 600-plus-page epic is proof she was right to do so. After the first publication in 2003, the coming-of-age novel became a cult hit and won rave reviews, with Publishers Weekly saying “If publishers could find a way to turn crack into a book, it’d read a lot like this.” The novel follows Eveline through her adolescence in 1970s East Hampton and then her twenties in 1980s Manhattan, as she attempts to find her own place in the world. The New York Observer put the book on its “very short list” and declared it “sparkling. Well-crafted and beautifully written.”


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