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 ...
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
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-10-22 A classic is born in this tender, intensely moving and even delightful journey through a white African girl's childhood. Born in England and now living in Wyoming, Fuller was conceived and bred on African soil during the Rhodesian civil war (1971-1979), a world where children over five "learn[ed] how to load an FN rifle magazine, strip and clean all the guns in the house, and ultimately, shoot-to-kill." With a unique and subtle sensitivity to racial issues, Fuller describes her parents' racism and the wartime relationships between blacks and whites through a child's watchful eyes. Curfews and war, mosquitoes, land mines, ambushes and "an abundance of leopards" are the stuff of this childhood. "Dad has to go out into the bush... and find terrorists and fight them"; Mum saves the family from an Egyptian spitting cobra; they both fight "to keep one country in Africa white-run." The "A" schools ("with the best teachers and facilities") are for white children; "B" schools serve "children who are neither black nor white"; and "C" schools are for black children. Fuller's world is marked by sudden, drastic changes: the farm is taken away for "land redistribution"; one term at school, five white students are "left in the boarding house... among two hundred African students"; three of her four siblings die in infancy; the family constantly sets up house in hostile, desolate environments as they move from Rhodesia to Zambia to Malawi and back to Zambia. But Fuller's remarkable affection for her parents (who are racists) and her homeland (brutal under white and black rule) shines through. This affection, in spite of its subjects' prominent flaws, reveals their humanity and allows the reader direct entry into her world. Fuller's book has the promise of being widely read and remaining of interest for years to come. Photos not seen by PW. (On-sale Dec. 18) Forecast: Like Anne Frank's diary, this work captures the tone of a very young person caught up in her own small world as she witnesses a far larger historical event. It will appeal to those looking for a good story as well as anyone seeking firsthand reportage of white southern Africa. The quirky title and jacket will propel curious shoppers to pick it up. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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