Women are portrayed in the novel as either predatory or nurturing. One of them is an enigmatic admixture of the two. The male protagonist's attempt to navigate the nuances of feminine behavior proves to be woefully inadequate. He is sophisticated and savvy as a World Bank official but naive - even childlike - in his liaisons with women.
The advantage of this naivete is that he is open to experimentation in the area of physical intimacy. While lovemaking, he allows himself to assume a gentleness - even a submissiveness usually associated with the feminine. This allows him to be open to depths of intimacy that a man and woman can enjoy when conventional gender roles are allowed to merge.
The feminine and masculine lines are being blurred more than ever in the world we live in. Share your thoughts.