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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

by Alexandra Fuller

In this tour-de-force sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa with the story of her unforgettable family.In Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness Alexandra Fuller braids a multi-layered narrative around the Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war-torn Africa of her own childhood. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, Nicola Fuller holds dear the kinds of values most likely to get you hurt or killed in Africa: loyalty to blood, passion for land and a holy belief in the restorative power of all animals.Fuller captures her mother's distinctive voice with remarkable precision, rendering a life story that is as funny, terrifying, exotic and unselfconscious as Nicola herself. We see Nicola and Tim Fuller in their honeymoon period, when East Africa lies before them with all the promise of its liquid equatorial light, even as the British Empire wanes. But in short order, an accumulation of mishaps and tragedies bump up against history until the couple find themselves in a world they hardly recognize. We follow the Fullers as they run from war and unspeakable heartbreak, from Kenya to Rhodesia to Zambia, even returning to England briefly. But just when it seems that Nicola has been broken entirely by Africa, it is the African earth itself that revives her.In the end we find Nicola and Tim at a coffee table under their Tree of Forgetfulness on the banana and fish farm where they plan to spend their final days. In local custom, the Tree is where villagers meet to resolve disputes--and it is here that the Fullers at last find an African kind of peace. Following the ghosts and dreams of memory, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is Alexandra Fuller at her very best.From the Hardcover edition.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

by Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller was the daughter of white settlers in 1970s war-torn Rhodesia. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight is a memoir of that time, when a schoolgirl was as likely to carry a shotgun as a satchel. Fuller tells a story of civil war; of a quixotic battle against nature and loss; and of her family's unbreakable bond with a continent which came to define, shape, scar and heal them. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she looks back with rage and love at an extraordinary family and an extraordinary time. 'Like Frank McCourt, Fuller writes with devastating humour and directness about desperate circumstances . . . tender, remarkable' Daily Telegraph 'A book that deserves to be read for generations' Guardian. 'Perceptive, generous, political, tragic, funny, stamped through with a passionate love for Africa . . . [Fuller] has a faultless hotline to her six-year-old self' Independent 'This enchanting book is destined to become a classic of Africa and of childhood' Sunday Times. 'Wonderful book . . . a vibrantly personal account of growing up in a family every bit as exotic as the continent which seduced it . . . the Fuller family itself [is] delivered to the reader with a mixture of toughness and heart which renders its characters unforgettable' Scotsman. 'Her prose is fierce, unsentimental, sometimes puzzled, and disconcertingly honest . . . it is Fuller's clear vision, even of the most unpalatable facts, that gives her book its strength. It deserves to find a place alongside Olive Schreiner, Karen Blixen and Doris Lessing' Sunday Telegraph.

The Legend of Colton H. Bryant

by Alexandra Fuller

Colton H. Bryant grew up in Wyoming and never once wanted to leave it. Wyoming loved him and he loved it back. Two things helped Colton get through school and the neighbourhood bullies: his best friend Jake and his favourite mantra: Mind over matter -- which meant to him: if you don't mind, it don't matter. Colton and Jake grew up wanting nothing more that the freedom to sleep out under the great Wyoming night sky, and to be just like Jake's dad, Bill, a strong, gentle man of few words who can ride rodeo like nobody's business. When Colton started work as a driller on a rig, despite his young wife begging him to quit, he claimed it was in his blood. Colton did die young and he died on the rig -- falling to his death because the oil company neglected to spend the $2,000 on safety rails. His family received no compensation. The strong, sad story of Colton H. Bryant's life could not be told without the telling of the land that grew him, where there are still such things as cowboys roaming the plains, where it is relationships that get you through and where a simple, soulful and just man named Colton H. Bryant lived and died.

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