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Book review: Mating, By Norman Rush


The canon of novels about Americans abroad received a vigorous update when this politically astute epic was first published in 1991.

Rush's hypnotic prose describes a young anthropologist's adventures in Botswana, including her affair with Nelson Denoon, the sociologist founder of the matriarchal village of Tsau.

The couple discuss Africa and the West, socialism, language and ethics, until Denoon's disappearance in the Kalahari Desert raises the question: "Who was Tsau for?"

Essential reading for those who relish fiction that examines ser-ious subjects in original ways.