Friday June 05, 2015

Wednesday Martin investigates the uber-rich moms of Park Avenue

Author Wednesday Martin dives deep into the concrete jungle of Manhattan's East Side in her new book Primates of Park Avenue.

Author Wednesday Martin dives deep into the concrete jungle of Manhattan's East Side in her new book Primates of Park Avenue. (Wednesday Martin/Facebook)

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The metaphor of city as jungle is a familiar one, but Wednesday Martin's new book Primates of Park Avenue zooms in closely on one particular patch of tropical concrete.

In the Upper East Side of Manhattan, tribal social structures and cutthroat survival tactics matter to its wealthy stay-at-home mothers as much as they do to the lawyers of Wall Street.

Martin (Twitter: @WednesdayMartin) went to work attempting to understand this group of elite, stilettoed women through the lens of anthropology. But she found a more complex image than Jane Krakowski's hysterical Jacqueline Voorhees from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Instead she saw highly educated women, some who had left lucrative careers, who have dedicated themselves to their young children in a climate with a dark underbelly — homes rife with deep anxiety, pill-popping, and power imbalances.