Mating by Norman Rush
A Novel

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The narrator of this splendidly expansive novel of high intellect and grand passion is an American anthropologist at loose ends in the South African republic of Botswana. She has a noble and exacting mind, a good waist, and a busted thesis project. She also has a yen for Nelson Denoon, a charismatic intellectual who is rumored to have founded a secretive and unorthodox utopian society in a remote corner of the Kalahari—one in which he is virtually the only man. What ensues is both a quest and an exuberant comedy of manners, a book that explores the deepest canyons of eros even as it asks large questions about the good society, the geopolitics of poverty, and the baffling mystery of what men and women really want.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Norman Rush

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Norman Rush is the author of three previous works of fiction: Whites, a collection of stories, and two novels, Mating and Mortals. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories. Mating was the recipient of the National Book Award. Rush and his wife live in Rockland County, New York.

Author Residence: New City, New York
Published October 12, 2011 by Vintage. 496 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The love affair-- exhaustively annotated and dissected all in the first person--is inevitable, and though they make agreeable love and though Denoon is all that he should be, it is the talk that matters--''I love your mind,'' she proclaims.

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Publishers Weekly

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Even readers who remember the luminous stories in Rush's debut, Whites , may not be prepared for the cleverness, humor, insight into human nature and intellectual acuity demonstrated in this accomplis

Sep 02 1991 | Read Full Review of Mating: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Readers of this National Book Award-winning novel, a BOMC alternate in cloth, will be captivated by Rush's narrator, a self-absorbed feminist anthropologist who pursues a famous social scientist in the Kalahari desert.

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Publishers Weekly

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At an impasse with her doctoral thesis and judging herself ready to find a mate, the narrator sets off alone across the Kalahari Desert from Gaborone, Botswana, to locate Nelson Denoon and the secret, experimental community he has created to give sanctuary and self-esteem to destitute or abused A...

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Entertainment Weekly

The book has been nominated for a National Book Award, but if you want to read a novel set in Africa with an academic woman narrator, try William Boyd's most recent book, Brazzaville Beach, which has more in the way of comedy, suspense, philosophical resonance, and readable prose.

Nov 01 1991 | Read Full Review of Mating: A Novel

The Independent

There are moments in the book when you sense that only a woman could be talking: 'One thing you distinctly never want to hear a man you're interested in say softly is that his favourite book in the whole world is The Golden Notebook.

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