Simon & Schuster
On Sale: June 2, 2015
Hardcover / e-Book
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Like an urban Dian Fossey, Wednesday Martin decodes the
primate social behaviors of Upper East Side mothers in a
brilliantly original and witty memoir about her adventures
assimilating into that most secretive and elite
After marrying a man from the Upper East Side
and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled
to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and
primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that
lens, and suddenly things fell into place. She understood
the other mothers’ snobbiness at school drop-off when she
compared them to olive baboons. Her obsessional quest for a
Hermes Birkin handbag made sense when she realized other
females wielded them to establish dominance in their troop.
And so she analyzed tribal migration patterns; display
rituals; physical adornment, mutilation, and mating
practices; extra-pair copulation; and more. Her conclusions
are smart, thought-provoking, and hilariously
Every city has its Upper East Side, and
in Wednesday’s memoir, readers everywhere will recognize the
strange cultural codes of powerful social hierarchies and
the compelling desire to climb them. They will also see that
Upper East Side mothers want the same things for their
children that all mothers want—safety, happiness, and
success—and not even sky-high penthouses and chauffeured
SUVs can protect this ecologically released tribe from the
universal experiences of anxiety and loss. When Wednesday’s
life turns upside down, she learns how deep the bonds of
female friendship really are.
and heartfelt, Primates of Park Avenue lifts a veil
on a secret, elite world within a world—the exotic,
fascinating, and strangely familiar culture of privileged
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