Less Than Angels

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9780060971175: Less Than Angels

A tale of a woman’s romantic entanglements with two anthropologists—and the odd mating habits of humans—from the author of Jane and Prudence.

Catherine Oliphant writes for women’s magazines and lives comfortably with anthropologist Tom Mallow—although she’s starting to wonder if they’ll ever get married. Then Tom drops his bombshell: He’s leaving her for a nineteen-year-old student.
 
Though stunned by Tom’s betrayal, Catherine quickly becomes fascinated by another anthropologist, Alaric Lydgate, a reclusive eccentric recently returned from Africa. As Catherine starts to weigh her options, she must figure out who she is and what she really wants.
 
With a lively cast of characters and a witty look at the insular world of academia, this novel from the much-loved author of Excellent Women and other modern classics is filled with poignant, playful observations about the traits that separate us from our anthropological forebears—far fewer than we may imagine.
 

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Product Description:

It is surely appropriate that anthropologists, who spend their time studying life and behavior in various societies, should be studied in their turn," says Barbara Pym. In a wonderful twist on her subjects, she has written a book inspecting the behavior of a group of anthropologists. She pits them against each other in affairs of the heart and mind.Academia is an especially rich backdrop. There is competition between the sexes, gender, and age groups. With Pym's keen eye for male pretensions and female susceptibilities, she exploits with good humor. Love will have its way even among the learned, one of whom is in a quandary between an adult and a young student. This is the world of research, grants, libraries and primitive cultures. Here is a particularly interesting contrast between the tribes of Africa and the social matrix of London. As the title implies, civilized society fares not too well on moral grounds to the more primitive societies. Barbara Pym does a masterful job with the mores of the cloistered society of academia.

Product Description:

This classic novel holds the mirror up to human nature and the battle between the sexes as it explores the love lives of a group of anthropologists
Catherine Oliphant writes for women’s magazines and lives comfortably with anthropologist Tom Mallow—although she’s starting to wonder if they’ll ever get married. Then Tom drops his bombshell: He’s leaving her for nineteen-year-old student Deirdre Swan. Though stunned by Tom’s betrayal, Catherine quickly becomes fascinated by another anthropologist, Alaric Lydgate, a reclusive eccentric recently returned from Africa. As Catherine starts to weigh her options she gradually realizes who she is and what she really wants.   With its lively cast of characters, Less Than Angels is an incisive social satire that opens a window onto the insular world of academia. It’s also a poignant and playful riff on the messy mating habits of humans and the traits that separate us from our anthropological forebears—far fewer than we may imagine.

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