By Norman Rush
(Vintage Books, Paperback, 9781400077137, 241pp.)
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
List Price: $15.00*
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**A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK**
In a sophisticated romp through the tribulations and joys of marriage and friendship, a group of college friends reunites two decades after graduation.
After the sudden death of Douglas, once the ringleader of a clique of self-styled wits, his four best friends are summoned to his Catskills estate to mourn his passing. Responding to a mysterious sense of emergency in the call, Ned flies in from San Francisco with his wife Nina in furious pursuit; they re at a critical point in their attempts to conceive and she won t let a funeral get in the way. It is Nina who gives us a pointed, irreverent commentary as the men reconvene, while Ned tries to understand what it was that made this clutch of souls his friends to begin with before time, sex, work, and the brutal quirks of history reshaped them. Filled with unexpected, funny, telling apercus, Norman Rush's "Subtle Bodies" is also a deeply moving exploration of the meanings of life.
His stories, essays and reviews have been published in the "New Yorker, the "New York Times Book Review, "The New York Review of Books, "The Nation, and other periodicals. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including an NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship.
Whites, a collection of stories, was published in 1986 and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and his first novel, Mating, was published in 1991 and was the recipient of the National Book Award. Mortals is his second novel.