Thursday, October 5, 2023

Mating by Norman Rush -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


Please join me every Friday for Book Beginnings! Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Instagram, Twitter, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up. Find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

TIE IN: Sadly, Freda at Freda's Voice is taking a break from her weekly blog event, The Friday 56, a natural tie in with this event. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your book, or 56% of the way through an e-book or audiobook. Many people are still posting Friday 56 teasers, even while Freda takes a break, and I will do the same. Please visit her Freda’s Voice blog even if there currently is no place to link your post.


In Africa, you want more, I think.

-- From Mating by Norman Rush. This book has been on my TBR shelf for so many years! It always looks good, but it is a chunkster and I never get around to reading it. It won the National Book Award in 1991 and is, apparently, having a resurgence in popularity, according to the New York Times that describes it as a cult favorite. 

That opening sentence doesn't do much for me one way or the other. But the book is fascinating to me. It is a novel about a thirtysomething anthropology grad student at loose ends in Botswana who becomes enthralled with the charismatic Nelson Denoon and the matriarchal utopian commune he runs in the Kalahari desert. The female protagonist is unnamed and the story told from her point of view, looking back over her relationship with Denoon. It's nerdy, and funny, and captivating.  


Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings.

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I was wound up when I met Denoon. It was muggy, with freak intermittent blasts and lurches of hot wind, which was fine somehow when I was walking over to the reception with Z but nerve-wracking during the aeon we had to wait in a mob outside the locked gates of the house we were invited to.

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