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Subtle Bodies

Norman Rush.
Publisher Knopf  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 5.95 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9781400042500
Pages/Publication Date 236/2013
Daedalus Item Code 53257
This item is not available.
In his long-awaited third novel, following Mortals and the National Book Award winner Mating, Norman Rush gives us a sophisticated, often comical romp through the particular joys and tribulations of marriage and the dilemmas of friendship, as a group of college buddies reunites in upstate New York after the death of their ringleader. It begins on a plane with Ned, having dropped everything—including his wife Nina, who has been trying hard to get pregnant—to fly in from San Francisco, while on another plane, Nina is in furious pursuit of her suddenly absent husband. "Subtle Bodies seems—to paraphrase Virginia Woolf's description of Middlemarch—like one of the few novels written for grown-up people," wrote Francine Prose in the New York Review of Books. "Rush's characters (the women more than the men) want to fall in love, to laugh and enjoy themselves. Their quirks, opinions, compulsions, and the cruel or considerate ways in which they treat their rivals and allies are all aspects of the personalities that keep us engrossed—along with the clarity and precision of Rush's sentences, the freshness of his observations, and our awareness that we are reading something quite rare: a remarkably nonjudgmental novel about people who are perpetually and often harshly judging themselves and one another."

"When she finally catches up with him, Nina finds her husband holed up in Douglas's upstate New York compound, surrounded by his former NYU roommates, instantly immersed in the rivalries and politics of their student days. Nina's role as an outsider gives her a unique perspective on the group as she watches them grapple with the death of their revered Douglas and attempt to reappraise their lives, relationships, and futures through the clarifying lens of the passage of time.... A quiet, contemplative novel, bringing together a group of people whose pasts and presents have suddenly come face-to-face as they struggle to make sense of their personal histories, Subtle Bodies is a funny, deeply satisfying look at friendships—why we make them, why we keep them, and how they change us over time."—Booklist

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