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Norman Rush

Subtle Bodies

Norman Rush Subtle Bodies
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Product Condition
All used items are in good or better condition. May have minor damage to jewel case including scuffs or cracks, or to the item cover including scuffs. The cover art and liner notes are included for a CD. VHS or DVD box is included. The majority of our disc games come in their case. The majority of our cartridge games do not include instructions or a case. No fuzzy/snowy frames on VHS tapes.
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Series:

Vintage International

Biographical note:

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.

Country of final manufacture:

US

Excerpt from book:

1.
 
Genitals have their own lives, his beloved Nina had said at the close of an argument over whether even the most besotted husband could be trusted one hundred percent faced with the permanent sexual temptations the world provided. It was the kind of conversation that went with the early days of a marriage, of their marriage. He had been rebutting her silly but fiendish thought experiments and had gotten tired of the game. She was a genius at imagining inescapable sex traps. There could be a nun suffering from hysterical blindness that would probably become permanent unless she received a sacrificial screw from some- body’s husband, alas. He looked around. Good thing there were no nuns on the plane, at least none in costume. When you’re traveling you’re nothing, until you land, which is what’s good about it, Ned thought.
 
 
2.
 
Nina, riding in furious pursuit, felt like bucking in her seat to make the plane go faster through the night. She was still enraged. She felt like a baby. She thought, You are a baby: no, he is, he is, my lamb.
 
Maybe the matronly pleasant-seeming woman sitting next to her was wise. She was old enough to be. Anything was possible. And it might not hurt to talk to an adult other than my incessant mother, she thought. She had to call her mother when they landed, first thing. It’s just that she won’t shut up about my pregnancy, she thought. Her attempted pregnancy, was what she meant. She regretted telling her mother about it.
 
I love my mother, she wanted to tell the woman next to her. It was just that her mother was overflowing with pregnancy lore that had nothing to do with reality. She’d been unkind when her mother said, You smell differently when you’re pregnant, because she’d said in response, Oh really? How do you smell then? With your uterus? All her mother had been trying to say was that there was a change in the odor a woman’s body gives off during pregnancy. But then her mother regularly declared that there was a mystical “subtle body” inside or surrounding or emanating from every human being and that if you could see it, it told you something. It told you about the essence of a person, their secrets, for example. It was all about attending closely enough to see them. They varied in color and brightness. Her mother claimed she could see them, faintly. She wanted Nina not to be oblivious to the subtle bodies of the people she met. That would protect her from deceivers, whoever they might be. Ma suggested Ned be on the qui vive also.
 
Dinner, as they called it, was done with. She seemed to have twisted her napkin into a rope and she wondered if her seatmate had noticed. The woman wasn’t being especially friendly to her. Usually the people she happened to sit next to were.

Yes, she was enraged at Ned, but also felt sorry for him. May God help you my lad, my Ned, she thought. He would be dumbfounded when he realized she had sprung after him, done it, like that, like a savage beast dropping everything herself, the same as he had, like a child, an adolescent, a child. He had never seen her truly furious, never once in three years of marriage. He had seen her agitated, and he had seen her annoyed, but never thi

“Rush’s exuberant, late-modern style feels as smooth and casual as freshly pressed khakis, but beneath it a sort of parasympathetic network courses with moral ambivalence. . . .  In Subtle Bodies, as in so much of his work, confronting the world returns Rush to his central question: What matters, in the end? That we do what we can is the author’s refrain. Even if all we can do—all any two people can do—is form a country of our own, whose flag is love.”—Michelle Orange, Book Forum
 
“[Rush] attends so closely to his characters—their thoughts, words, beliefs, relationships—and landscapes—physical, social, political—that he brings them utterly alive, with often-exhilarating aptitude and insight.”—Rebecca Steinitz, The Boston Globe
 
Norman Rush has suddenly become one of America’s must-read novelists. He crept up on us, because his two previous novels, Mating and Mortals, were such enormous books that you could easily tell yourself that you’d read them next year. . . . Now Subtle Bodies has arrived, at just 256 dense, colloquial, inviting pages, and you’re out of excuses.”—Clancy Martin, New York Observer
 
“Rush’s defining gift might be his incredible awareness—about politics, about human nature, about the world—which he bestows upon his characters. . . . It makes the reader’s lens of the world a little clearer, a little sharper. If you’ve never read Rush, . . . Subtle Bodies is a more than fine place to begin.”—Jill Owens, The Oregonian
 
“By turns, tragic, bittersweet, insightful and laugh-out-loud funny, with its numerous references to pop-culture, radical politics, obscure philosophy, and hysterical monkeyshines of obnoxious college kids: Kraftwerk lyrics one moment, 19th century Russian anarchist the next.”—The Frontier Psychologist
 
“Subtle Bodies seems—to paraphrase Virginia Woolf’s description of Middlemarch—like one of the few novels written for grown-up people. . . . 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.”—Francine Prose, The New York Review of Books
 
“Superbly sustained narrative drollery. . . Rush is the best kind of comic novelist.”
—Geoff  Dyer, The New York Times Book Review

“The real story of Subtle Bodies, the element that finally emerges as its center of gravity, is the subject that Mr. Rush has treated in each of his previous novels: marriage. And here, in Ned and Nina, he has given us a portrait of that notoriously elusive thing, a genuinely happy couple. . .  . The book glows with their intimate joy: their private jokes, their sexual teasing, their deep loyalty and mutual concern. . . . Beautifully portrayed.”—Adam Kirsch, The Wall Street Journal
 
“A super-up-close study of male friendship (and envy).”—New York Magazine
 
“Norman Rush may be America’s last living maximalist author. In two bulky, Africa-set novels, Mating and Mortals, he astutely explored themes of courtship, outsiderdom and herd mentality. Blending romantic li

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