We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Mating by Norman Rush

(Here’s my fifth and final review for the Africa Reading Challenge, though I’ll continue to blog good books as I read them.)

“In Africa, you want more, I think.”

And so begins Mating, a novel that deserves more praise than I can eloquently offer. I read this book last spring in Dahab, and it absorbed me completely. It’s an excellent book, an amazing love story that is never sappy, but always intelligent and often funny.

Mating was published in 1992, when I was an undergrad. I remember seeing the paperback around the campus bookstore in College Town, and I never bothered to read it, but I always had the sense I should read it. A good friend at the time–a young man I adored–told me that the protagonist reminded him of me. Still I never read it.

After all that time waiting, it still didn’t disappoint. (And, actually, the comparison to the protagonist, a feminist who goes after love with everything she’s got, and is a wee bit self-absorbed, was really quite lovely to recall as I reflected upon my old friend and my old self. Old self? I’m still a feminist and I blog, which many consider a reflection of being self-absorbed. But let’s leave this discussion for, say, oh, never.)

The first-person narrative about this young woman, who chases her anthropologist love through the Botswana bush, is incredibly compelling and entertaining.

I enjoyed this book even more because I knew so little about it. So I’m going to end my review here. You can dig up some more information on Amazon, undoubtedly. Or, take my advice: find Mating and read it.


24 October 2008 - Posted by | africa, books


  1. This book sounds intriguing! I’ll have to add this to my Amazon wish list! 🙂

    Comment by Typ0 | 24 October 2008

  2. Joan, I’m glad you enjoyed this one. Any thoughts on reading more Rush? If so–let’s chat!

    Comment by Karen | 27 October 2008

  3. Karen, I am still trying to get my hands on his other expats in Africa book… I’ll let you know when I do!

    Comment by Ms. Four | 27 October 2008

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