Mating: A Novel (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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The immediate, erudite and funny voice of its narrator drives MATING. Our narrator washes up in Botswana with an exploded thesis. She’d intended to study the effects of a hunter/gatherer diet on fertility, but by 1980, hunter/gatherers were pretty thin on the ground. So instead of returning stateside, she hangs around in Gaborone, drifting and unemployed.


During her stint of unemployed decadence in Gaborone, our narrator meets an elusive American activist, Nelson Denoon, who is rumored to have started an experimental, all-female village in the Kalahari. Its location is secret, but driven by desire and an admirable dose of brass, the narrator sets off into the desert with only a pretty good idea of where she’s going. So begins her love affair with Denoon.


Like all great fiction, MATING allows you to pal around with someone really great who you could never meet otherwise. Reading this book is like drinking an endless pot of tea while your super-cool aunt tells you the story of her life.

— From Brooke Recommends


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.

About the Author

Norman Rush is the author of four works of fiction: Whites, a collection of stories, and three novels, Subtle Bodies, Mating, and Mortals. His stories have appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris Review, and Best American Short StoriesMating was the recipient of the National Book Award. Rush and his wife live in Rockland County, New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780679737094
ISBN-10: 067973709X
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: September 1st, 1992
Pages: 496
Language: English
Series: Vintage International