By Norman Rush
Vintage, Paperback, 9780679738169, 160pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 1992
Whether they are Americans, Brits, or a stubborn and suicidally moral Dutchman, Norman Rush's whites are not sure why they are in Botswana. Their uncertainty makes them do odd things. Driven half-mad by the barking of his neighbor's dogs, Carl dips timidly into native witchcraft only to jump back out at the worst possible moment. Ione briskly pursues a career as a seducer ( A seductress was merely someone who was seductive and who might or might not be awarded a victory. But a seducer was a professional ), while her dentist husband fends off the generous advances of an African cook. Funny, sad, and deeply knowing, polished throughout to a diamond glitter, Whites is a magnificent collection of stories.