The final element in Norman Rush's trilogy on the Western presence in contemporary South Africa. Set in Botswana in the 1990s, the novel provides a political adventure, a social comedy and a passionate love story.
Norman Rush returns with his finest work to date - the long-awaited follow-up to Mating, winner of the 1991 Irish Times International Fiction Prize. Mortals constitutes the final element in Norman Rush's trilogy on the Western presence in contemporary southern Africa. Set in Botswana in the 1990s, it is a political adventure, a social comedy and a passionate love story. Mortals chronicles the misadventures of three expat Americans: a contract CIA agent, operating undercover as a teacher of Milton in a private school; his beloved but disaffected wife; and an iconoclastic black holistic physician on a personal mission to 'lift the yoke of Christian belief from Africa'. The machinations of these three entangle them with a local populist leader whose purposes are grotesquely misconstrued by the CIA. And when a violent but pathetic insurrection erupts - stoked in part by the erotic and political intrigues of the American trio - the outcome is both explosive and explosively funny. Mortals examines with wit and insight the dilemmas of power, religion, rebellion, and contending versions of liberation and love, through lives lived ardently in an unforgiving land. Botswana is indelibly Norman Rush's fictional territory, and Mortals is his most commanding work.
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An astonishing accomplishment . . . [A] detonation of talent that threatens to incinerate competitors for miles around." --"The Christian Science Monitor" "Rush has now produced three books so full of brainwork, contour, sinew and laser light that we don't want to leave home without him." --"The New York Times Book Review"" ""Wild and wonderful. . . . Whether the matter under scrutiny is marital wrangling or guerrilla rebellion, Rush's observations are brutally accurate--and funny." --"The Seattle Times ""The depth and richness of Norman Rush's second novel, Mortals, give him his own shelf in the canon"--"New York Magazine ""Brilliant . . . Mortals""is a deeply serious, deeply ambitious, deeply successful book. . . . Its central achievement has to be the fidelity with which it represents consciousness, the way in which it tracks the mind's own language. . . . The two hundred or so pages in which Rush describes what is in effect a small African civil war seem
About Norman Rush
Raised in Oakland, California, Norman Rush graduated from Swarthmore College and worked as an antiquarian book dealer and a teacher. He lived in Africa from 1978 to 1983. In 1986, his short story collection, Whites, was a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist. Mating, a novel, won the 1991 National Book Award for Fiction and the International Fiction Prize (Irish Times/Aer Lingus). His work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Nation and New Yorker. He lives with his wife Elsa in New York.
Mortals by Norman Rush
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