Norman Rush

Born in San Francisco—and named after a six-time Socialist Party presidential candidate—Norman Rush published his first novel, Mating, the year he turned fifty-eight, which drew in part upon the years he and his wife Elsa had spent in the Peace Corps in Africa. Years earlier, during the Korean War, he was briefly incarcerated for being a conscientious objector. “Surveying my motley history of impromptu efforts to make money,” he wrote in The New Yorker, “I see something like a vast mural by Hieronymus Bosch in which all the victim characters distributed across the terrain of Hell are me.”

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