I’ve read Norman Rush’s “Mating” three times, the most for any book (there are just too many books to read in a lifetime for double-reading of stories that don’t enthrall you). What I find most intriguing is Rush’s ability to see within a relationship from both sides, and so clearly (as it is described and unfolds in the story). This is especially true for the details of a relationship; but even more particularly, how the details resonate with other things in one’s life.
The selection below illustrates this “knowing” that we sometimes get about a person whom we know, and love (or are falling IN love with):
may 15, 2010
“My policy was to keep everything light, amusing. I said Do you remember the first time you saw me with my sleep mask?
He was making a good faith effort to remember, but it was taking too long. Throughout this whole time I was fighting against images of someone I had known who, post acid, could take ten minutes to roll up a shirtcuff because the aesthetics of the procedure were, in his illuminated state, so exquisite.”
– Norman Rush, “Mating”
The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.