(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – Norman Rush, a National Book Award-winner and author of “Whites,” “Mating,” “Mortals,” and “Subtle Bodies,” reads from his work in the Weis Cinema at the Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College on Monday, January 26, 2015, at 6pm. Rush will be introduced by author Mona Simpson. The reading is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations required.
According to Wikipedia, Rush was born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, the son of Roger and Leslie (Chesse) Rush. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1956. During the Korean War, he was sentenced to two years’ incarceration for his status as a conscientious objector to the war, but was released on parole after nine months.
After working for fifteen years as a book dealer, he changed careers to become a teacher and found he had more time to write. He submitted a short story about his teaching experiences to the New Yorker and it was published in 1978.
Rush and his wife Elsa were co-workers for the Peace Corps in Botswana from 1978 to 1983, which provided material for a collection of short stories he published as “Whites.” In 1986 “Whites” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His Botswana experience also served as the locations for his novels, “Mating” and “Mortals.”
Writing in the New York Review of Books, author Francine Prose said, “Subtle Bodies seems like one of the few novels written for grown-up people. Rush’s characters want to fall in love, to laugh and enjoy themselves. Their quirks, opinions, compulsions, and the cruel or considerate ways in which they treat their rivals and allies are all aspects of the personalities that keep us engrossed—along with the clarity and precision of Rush’s sentences, the freshness of his observations, and our awareness that we are reading something quite rare: a remarkably nonjudgmental novel about people who are perpetually and often harshly judging themselves and one another.”