“WHAT WE’RE READING” — MATING by Norm Rush (Botswana)


The Sunday, September 6, 2020 issue of the New York Times Book Review section has a column in the front of the magazine entitled: What We’re Reading. It is there every Sunday. Today’s column is focused on Norman Rush (Staff: Botswana 1978-83). It was written by Noor Qasim, a Book Editor Fellow at the magazine.

Qasim writes:

I picked up Mating because it’s long. I’d been craving something immersive, to draw me in and force me to sit still. Norman Rush’s unnamed narrator — an American anthropologist in Botswana, whose failed thesis propels her to a series of romantic encounters — provides it. Witty and incisive, she drops Latin at every turn, and examines the practice of mating with precision.

Mating was published in 1991. It was Rush’s novel set in Botswana ( Whites, his collection of short stories set in Botswana, was published in 1986). Mating won the National Book Award and the RPCV Writers & Reader’s Maria Thomas Fiction Award and the Irish Times/Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize  1992.

In the brief comments about the book, Qasim goes on to writes, “Is it too much to say I’m in intellectual love with a novel?”

I don’t think so. Not when you’re referring to the writing of  Norm Rush.


Norman Rush (staff: Botswana 1978–83)
495 pages
$16.95 (paperback), $4.99 (Kindle), Audible

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