A Spy in the House of Love

Norman Rush is something of an oddity in the world of American letters, a world that sometimes seems to be populated solely by wunderkinder and éminences grises. Born in 1933, Rush worked as a teacher and a rare-books dealer and did a stint with the Peace Corps in Africa before he finally published his first novel, Mating, in 1991. It promptly won the U.S. National Book Award. Rush then resumed his silence. Now, 12 years later, we have the remarkable Mortals, which gives us the late-blooming Rush as challenging and surprising and uncompromising as ever.

Ray Finch, our...

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