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Extended Audio Sample Primates of Park Avenue: Adventures inside the Secret Sisterhood of Manhattan Moms, by Wednesday Martin Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wednesday Martin Narrator: Madeleine Mab Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 tribe.

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 unexpected.

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.

Intelligent, funny, 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 Manhattan motherhood.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Somehow, Martin manages to be caustically perceptive but also generous, funny, moving, and erudite all at the same time.”

    Amy Chua, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An eye-popping insider’s guide.”


  • “Think privileged NYC wives are another species? Martin goes undercover in this dishy memoir and reminds us that we all have something in common.”


  • “[A] memoir about fitting in while standing out.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “An amusing, perceptive, and, at times thrillingly evil take-down of upper-class culture by an outsider with a front-row seat…Martin’s writing is confident and evocative…Primates of Park Avenue is also a good reminder that as much as we may envy the wealthy, they fight every day for a place in their own social hierarchy, too.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Applying the chimpanzee research of Jane Goodall or the observations of bonobos by Frans de Waal to one’s neighbors and co-workers is great fun…Martin rewards those of us in humbler circumstances the undeniably pleasant frisson of superiority that comes with finding fault with those better endowed financially, socially, sartorially.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Witty.”

    Harper’s Bazaar

  • “Martin…quickly realized that Park Avenue mothers were a breed apart. Like an urban Jane Goodall, she analyzes the rituals of this unique tribe—from their ‘wife bonuses’ and designer bags to their hilariously rigid exercise routines.”


  • “If anthropologist Jane Goodall had landed on Park Avenue with a Birkin bag instead of the wilds of Tanzania with a notebook, this is the book she would have written. Primates of Park Avenue is a smart, funny, and original dissection of the tribal rites of rich and striving New Yorkers.”

    Steven Gaines, author of Philistines at the Hedgerow

  • “This book in which primatology leads to a deeper understanding of the human hearts that beat beneath their designer-clad exteriors…[is] a tour de force”

    Robert Martin, PhD, author of How We Do It

  • “When mean girls and wannabes grow up, they become the women so perfectly depicted in Wednesday Martin’s funny and intelligent memoir. How wonderful that she survived the jungle of Park Avenue with strong female friendships intact.”

    Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes

  • A BookPage Top Pick for June 2015
  • An Oprah Pick of 10 Titles to Pick Up Now
  • A New York Times Bestseller
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