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Botswana

Mating, by Norman Rush (1992). In this National Book Award-winning novel, a self-regarding American anthropologist falls for the (white, male) leader of a utopian village for disenfranchised women in Botswana. The village may be fictional but Rush's descriptions of the Kalahari and rural villages are frank and insightful.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith (1998). This first novel in the successful series from the prolific African-born Smith has the bush-tea-drinking Precious Ramotswe hanging out her shingle as Botswana's finest—and only—female detective. Her initial cases involve a cheating husband, a mysterious doctor, and a missing boy who may have been snatched by witch doctors—but this is most of all a charming ode to the landscape and proud traditions of Botswana.

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