Norman Rush returns with his finest work to date - the long-awaited follow-up to 'Mating'. '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.