Search results for: cocktail-hour-under-the-tree-of-forgetfulness

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

Author : Alexandra Fuller
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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulnesstells the story of the author's mother, Nicola Fuller. Nicola Fuller and her husband were a glamorous and optimistic couple and East Africa lay before them with the promise of all its perfect light, even as the British Empire in which they both believed waned. They had everything, including two golden children - a girl and a boy. However, life became increasingly difficult and they moved to Rhodesia to work as farm managers. The previous farm manager had committed suicide. His ghost appeared at the foot of their bed and seemed to be trying to warn them of something. Shortly after this, one of their golden children died. Africa was no longer the playground of Nicola's childhood. They returned to England where the author was born before they returned to Rhodesia and to the civil war. The last part of the book sees the Fullers in their old age on a banana and fish farm in the Zambezi Valley. They had built their ramshackle dining room under the Tree of Forgetfulness. In local custom, this tree is the meeting place for villagers determined to resolve disputes. It is in the spirit of this Forgetfulness that Nicola finally forgot - but did not forgive - all her enemies including her daughter and the Apostle, a squatter who has taken up in her bananas with his seven wives and forty-nine children. Funny, tragic, terrifying, exotic and utterly unself-conscious, this is a story of survival and madness, love and war, passion and compassion.

Don t Let s Go to the Dogs Tonight

Author : Alexandra Fuller
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A worthy heir to Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham, Alexandra Fuller shares visceral memories of her childhood in Africa, and of her headstrong, unforgettable mother. “This is not a book you read just once, but a tale of terrible beauty to get lost in over and over.”—Newsweek “By turns mischievous and openhearted, earthy and soaring . . . hair-raising, horrific, and thrilling.”—The New Yorker Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time. From 1972 to 1990, Alexandra Fuller—known to friends and family as Bobo—grew up on several farms in southern and central Africa. Her father joined up on the side of the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, and was often away fighting against the powerful black guerilla factions. Her mother, in turn, flung herself at their African life and its rugged farm work with the same passion and maniacal energy she brought to everything else. Though she loved her children, she was no hand-holder and had little tolerance for neediness. She nurtured her daughters in other ways: She taught them, by example, to be resilient and self-sufficient, to have strong wills and strong opinions, and to embrace life wholeheartedly, despite and because of difficult circumstances. And she instilled in Bobo, particularly, a love of reading and of storytelling that proved to be her salvation. Alexandra Fuller writes poignantly about a girl becoming a woman and a writer against a backdrop of unrest, not just in her country but in her home. But Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight is more than a survivor’s story. It is the story of one woman’s unbreakable bond with a continent and the people who inhabit it, a portrait lovingly realized and deeply felt. Praise for Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight “Riveting . . . [full of] humor and compassion.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “The incredible story of an incredible childhood.”—The Providence Journal

Leaving Before the Rains Come

Author : Alexandra Fuller
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Looking to rebuild after a painful divorce, Alexandra Fuller turns to her African past for clues to living a life fully and without fear A child of the Rhodesian wars and of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller's own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she confronts tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. Fuller soon realizes that what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father. "Tim Fuller of No Fixed Abode"--familiar to readers from Alexandra Fuller's New York Times-bestselling memoir Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight--was a man who regretted nothing and wanted less, even after fighting harder and losing more than most men could bear. Leaving Before the Rains Come showcases Fuller at the peak of her abilities, threading panoramic vistas with her deepest revelations as a fully grown woman and mother. Fuller reveals how--after spending a lifetime fearfully waiting for someone to show up and save her--she discovered that, in the end, we all simply have to save ourselves. An unforgettable book, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a story of sorrow grounded in the tragic grandeur and rueful joy only to be found in Fuller's Africa. "One of the gutsiest memoirs I've ever read. And the writing--oh my god the writing." --Entertainment Weekly

Falling

Author : Alexandra Fuller
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"I don’t want to be married to you." This was one of the last things Alexandra Fuller said to her husband before the horrific accident that would change their lives forever. In her most personal memoir yet, the bestselling author of "Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight" and "Cocktails Under the Tree of Forgetfulness" tells the heartrending story of her long and stormy marriage to Charlie Ross, the love of her life, the father of her three children, and the man she ultimately couldn’t live with. Her tale of passion and loss will speak to wives, husbands, and anyone who has been deeply in love. Fuller was a young British college graduate recently returned to her parents’ farm in Zambia when she met and fell hard for Ross, a handsome American river guide. Before long they were married with a newborn, living in a cottage on the Zambezi River, caught up with the challenges of life in the African wilds, including a near-death bout with malaria. It was easy to overlook the cracks that soon began to show in their relationship. “The place, with all its beautiful difficulties,” Fuller writes, “supplanted the need for real conversation, filled the space that might have been left for the exchange of real ideas and intimacy, and made up in drama and splendor what we lacked in closeness.” The couple marched on, sticking it out through a move to the United States, ongoing financial struggles, and Fuller’s determination to succeed as a writer. But the troubles between them only got worse. Then came the day when a peaceful horseback ride went tragically wrong, forcing Fuller to come to terms with her life and her toxic marriage.

Laughing Now

Author : Irene Staunton
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Weaver Press's previous collections of short stories, Writing Now and Writing Still, were highly praised for the quality of their prose and the imagination of their writers. They confirmed, for one reviewer, 'the paradoxical truth that troubled societies somehow produce some of the most interesting writing available. Laughing Now goes further, and demonstrates the enduring capacity of Zimbabweans to find humour in even the most difficult of circumstances. The stories embrace funerals, dancing competitions, family tensions, rampant inflation and endless queues for scarce goods. They take a wry look at pompous politicians, foreign filmmakers and the aspirations of the so-called 'new' farmers. Those by Gappah, Chingono and Eppel won the first three prizes in the recent Mukuru.com short story competition. Zimbabwean fiction in English has become world-renowned in recent decades, but its concerns - war, trauma and the trials of independence - have chronicled the pain of those periods. Laughing Now suggests that we are finding new ways to reflect our reality; that however many zeros we add to the rate of inflation, and however hungry we may become, humour is as good a responce as any.

Son of a Gun

Author : Justin St. Germain
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY In the tradition of Tobias Wolff, James Ellroy, and Mary Karr, a stunning memoir of a mother-son relationship that is also the searing, unflinching account of a murder and its aftermath Tombstone, Arizona, September 2001. Debbie St. Germain’s death, apparently at the hands of her fifth husband, is a passing curiosity. “A real-life old West murder mystery,” the local TV announcers intone, while barroom gossips snicker cruelly. But for her twenty-year-old son, Justin St. Germain, the tragedy marks the line that separates his world into before and after. Distancing himself from the legendary town of his childhood, Justin makes another life a world away in San Francisco and achieves all the surface successes that would have filled his mother with pride. Yet years later he’s still sleeping with a loaded rifle under his bed. Ultimately, he is pulled back to the desert landscape of his childhood on a search to make sense of the unfathomable. What made his mother, a onetime army paratrooper, the type of woman who would stand up to any man except the men she was in love with? What led her to move from place to place, man to man, job to job, until finally she found herself in a desperate and deteriorating situation, living on an isolated patch of desert with an unstable ex-cop? Justin’s journey takes him back to the ghost town of Wyatt Earp, to the trailers he and Debbie shared, to the string of stepfathers who were a constant, sometimes threatening presence in his life, to a harsh world on the margins full of men and women all struggling to define what family means. He decides to confront people from his past and delve into the police records in an attempt to make sense of his mother’s life and death. All the while he tries to be the type of man she would have wanted him to be. Praise for Son of a Gun “[A] spectacular memoir . . . calls to mind two others of the past decade: J. R. Moehringer’s Tender Bar and Nick Flynn’s Another Bull____ Night in Suck City. All three are about boys becoming men in a broken world. . . . [What] might have been . . . in the hands of a lesser writer, the book’s main point . . . [is] amplified from a tale of personal loss and grief into a parable for our time and our nation. . . . If the brilliance of Son of a Gun lies in its restraint, its importance lies in the generosity of the author’s insights.”—Alexandra Fuller, The New York Times Book Review “[A] gritty, enthralling new memoir . . . St. Germain has created a work of austere, luminous beauty. . . . In his understated, eloquent way, St. Germain makes you feel the heat, taste the dust, see those shimmering streets. By the end of the book, you know his mother, even though you never met her. And like the author, you will mourn her forever.”—NPR “If St. Germain had stopped at examining his mother’s psycho-social risk factors and how her murder affected him, this would still be a fine, moving memoir. But it’s his further probing—into the culture of guns, violence, and manhood that informed their lives in his hometown, Tombstone, Ariz.—that transforms the book, elevating the stakes from personal pain to larger, important questions of what ails our society.”—The Boston Globe “A visceral, compelling portrait of [St. Germain’s] mother and the violent culture that claimed her.”—Entertainment Weekly From the Hardcover edition.

Everything Lost Is Found Again

Author : Will McGrath
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Funny and heartfelt, this amalgamation of memoir and essay collection tells the story of twenty months the author spent in Lesotho, the small, landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa. There he finds a spirit of joyful absurdity and resolve, surrounded by people who take strangers' hands as they walk down the road, people who--with sweetest face--drop the dirtiest jokes in the southern hemisphere. But Lesotho is also a place where shepherds exact Old Testament retribution, where wounded pride incites murder and families are devastated by the AIDS epidemic. Driven by a spirit of openhearted cultural exchange in the style of Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country and Alexandra Fuller's Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Will McGrath's Everything Lost Is Found Again is a love-drunk ballad to Lesotho, infusing humor and heart into pop ethnography.

Travel Light Move Fast

Author : Alexandra Fuller
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From bestselling author Alexandra Fuller, the utterly original story of her father, Tim Fuller, and a deeply felt tribute to a life well lived Six months before he died in Budapest, Tim Fuller turned to his daughter: “Let me tell you the secret to life right now, in case I suddenly give up the ghost." Then he lit his pipe and stroked his dog Harry’s head. Harry put his paw on Dad’s lap and they sat there, the two of them, one man and his dog, keepers to the secret of life. “Well?” she said. “Nothing comes to mind, quite honestly, Bobo,” he said, with some surprise. “Now that I think about it, maybe there isn’t a secret to life. It’s just what it is, right under your nose. What do you think, Harry?” Harry gave Dad a look of utter agreement. He was a very superior dog. “Well, there you have it,” Dad said. After her father’s sudden death, Alexandra Fuller realizes that if she is going to weather his loss, she will need to become the parts of him she misses most. So begins Travel Light, Move Fast, the unforgettable story of Tim Fuller, a self-exiled black sheep who moved to Africa to fight in the Rhodesian Bush War before settling as a banana farmer in Zambia. A man who preferred chaos to predictability, to revel in promise rather than wallow in regret, and who was more afraid of becoming bored than of getting lost, he taught his daughters to live as if everything needed to happen all together, all at once—or not at all. Now, in the wake of his death, Fuller internalizes his lessons with clear eyes and celebrates a man who swallowed life whole. A master of time and memory, Fuller moves seamlessly between the days and months following her father’s death, as she and her mother return to his farm with his ashes and contend with his overwhelming absence, and her childhood spent running after him in southern and central Africa. Writing with reverent irreverence of the rollicking grand misadventures of her mother and father, bursting with pandemonium and tragedy, Fuller takes their insatiable appetite for life to heart. Here, in Fuller’s Africa, is a story of joy, resilience, and vitality, from one of our finest writers.

Talking Book Topics

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Harper s

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The Legend of Colton H Bryant

Author : Alexandra Fuller
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Colton H Bryant grew up in Wyoming and never once wanted to leave it. Wyoming - wild, open and heartsearingly beautiful - loved him and he loved it back. Two things helped Colton get through school and the neighbourhood gang who chased after him on his bike yelling 'retard': 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 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. Colton started work himself as a driller on a rig, despite his young wife begging him to quit. But Colton's dad worked on the rig, and his dad before him, and Colton 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.

Digital Talking Books Plus

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New Books on Women Gender and Feminism

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New Books on Women and Feminism

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The Publishers Weekly

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The Spectator

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