Shalom Life | October 03, 2014

Breakthrough Jew - Adelle Waldman

Waldman is the author of the New York Times Editor's Choice and Washington Post Notable Book, 'The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P'

By: Sara Torvik

Published: October 2nd, 2014 in Culture » Books » News

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Adelle Waldman

Age: early 30s

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Breakthrough Cred: Her debut critically-acclaimed novel ‘The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P’

Book fans will definitely want to start paying close attention to author Adelle Waldman. She is an accomplished writer who’s work is gaining much attention and has already appeared in several notable publications, including The New York TimesBook Review, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, The Village Voice and others.

Waldman also attended Columbia University’s school of journalism, and worked as a reporter at both the New Haven Register and the Cleveland Plain Dealer after graduating from there. She has since released her debut novel, which is called The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., and has gotten her much favourable press. The book was called one of 2013′s best books by a wide variety of publications such as The New Yorker, The New Republic, Slate, The Economist, NPR, Fresh Air, The National Journal, Bookforum, The National Post, BookPage, The Guardian (UK), Cosmopolitan, Elle, Baltimore City Paper and The Irish Times. It was also named a New York Times’ Editor’s Choice and a Washington Post Notable Book.

In the novel, Waldman takes on the perspective of a man named Nathaniel Piven or “Nate” as he often referred to, and explores his many encounters, both romantic and sexual, with women. Speaking of the novel in an interview with The New York Times, Waldman explained a bit about why she decided to write her novel, not from the perspective of a woman, but instead tried to get into the mind of the opposite sex.


“I had a years-old desire to write about certain experiences that I had had in romantic relationships, which over time I realized were similar to the experiences of other women,” she says. “Many women I knew struggled to make sense of men we were involved with who were by no means wholly bad people — and who were often very talented and charming in other respects — but whose behaviour in a romantic context seemed both unpredictable and hurtful. As widespread as this experience seemed to be among women, I didn’t really see it well represented in contemporary literature, though a version of it is certainly represented in 18th- and 19th-century fiction.”

Find out more about this week's Breakthrough Jew, Adelle Waldman, on the next page!

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