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7 Local Warehouse Africa- Southern Africa

Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness

by

Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness Cover

ISBN13: 9781594202995
ISBN10: 1594202990
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

 

Review-A-Day

"Alexandra Fuller returns to the African landscape in her memoir, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. It accepts the curious task of being both a prequel and a sequel to her 2001 debut, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood. With a love of landscape, a historian's lens and a knack for laugh-out-loud satire aimed at her mother's narcissism, Fuller tells the broader story of her family's participation in the Rhodesian civil war." Sarah Cypher, The Oregonian (Read the entire Oregonian review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness Alexandra Fuller braids a multilayered narrative around the perfectly lit, Happy Valley-era Africa of her mother's childhood; the boiled cabbage grimness of her father's English childhood; and the darker, civil war-torn Africa of her own childhood. At its heart, this is the story of Fuller's mother, Nicola. Born on the Scottish Isle of Skye and raised in Kenya, Nicola 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 interviewed her mother at length and has captured her inimitable voice with remarkable precision. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is as funny, terrifying, exotic, and unselfconscious as Nicola herself.

We see Nicola and Tim Fuller in their lavender-colored honeymoon period, when east Africa lies before them with all the promise of its liquid equatorial light, even as the British empire in which they both believe wanes. But in short order, an accumulation of mishaps and tragedies bump up against history until the couple finds themselves in a world they hardly recognize. We follow the Fullers as they hopscotch the continent, running 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.

A story of survival and madness, love and war, loyalty and forgiveness, Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an intimate exploration of the author's family. 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 of Forgetfulness 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.

Review:

"A sardonic follow-up to her first memoir about growing up in Rhodesia circa the 1970s, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, this work traces in wry, poignant fashion the lives of her intrepid British parents, determined to stake a life on their farm despite the raging African civil war around them. Fuller's mother is the central figure, Nicola Fuller of Central, as she is known, born 'one million percent Highland Scottish'; she grew up mostly in Kenya in the 1950s, was schooled harshly by the nuns in Eldoret, learned to ride horses masterfully, and married a dashing Englishman before settling down on their own farm, first in Kenya, then Rhodesia, where the author (known as Bobo) and her elder sister, Vanessa, were born in the late 1960s. The outbreak of civil war in the mid-1970s resolved the family to dig in deeper on their farm in Robandi, rather than flee, to order to preserve a life of colonial privilege and engrained racism that was progressively vanishing. While the girls dispersed as grownups (the author lives in Wyoming with her American husband), the parents managed to secure a fish and banana farm in the middle of the Zambezi valley in Zambia, and under a legendary Tree of Forgetfulness (where ancestors are supposed to reside and help resolve trouble) they ruminate with their visitors over the long-gone days, full of death and loss, the ravages of war, and a determination to carry on. Fuller achieves another beautifully wrought memoir. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

In this sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family.

About the Author

Alexandra Fuller was born in England in 1969. In 1972, she moved with her family to a farm in southern Africa. She lived in Africa until her mid-twenties.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

joanbusby, January 16, 2012 (view all comments by joanbusby)
Ms. Fuller writes beautifully. This, her latest book, is a treasure.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Silvers Reviews, September 23, 2011 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)
We all should have our own Tree of Forgetfulness.....what a wonderful thought.

"People often ask why my parents haven't left Africa. Simply put they have been possessed by the land. Land is Mum's love affair and it is Dad's religion." Page 117

From the beautiful landscape of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to the lush lands of East Africa....you will be taken on a journey with Nicola Fuller through her childhood and her adult life.

This book is beautifully written with wonderful descriptions of feelings, daily living, and African landscapes. You will also be given a history lesson of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.

The novel is also quite entertaining. You will love the stories, connect with the characters, feel their pain and mainly their love of the land in Africa even though Tim always said and was reminded by Nicola...."But I thought you said Africa was for the Africans." Page 210

I thoroughly enjoyed this book......vicariously living the life of the Fullers was fun but frightening. I can't begin to give all the details in this short review.....you will definitely need to read it. You will love it. 5/5
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
NinaL, August 24, 2011 (view all comments by NinaL)
"Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness" by Alexandra Fuller is a return to Fuller's childhood upbringing in East Africa. This is her quasi-sequel and prequel to her first book, "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight". Within the pages of "Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness", Fuller further explores her African upbringing through a deeper look into the lives of her relatives. Fuller's storytelling effortlessly flows from the contemporary setting of her parent's fish farm in Zambia to the remote cool wet weather of Skye (Scotland) or bleak post-war England. She gives life to her characters through each person's own unique voice. Fuller shows the reader that her heritage is both stubborn and free-spirited. And she answers the question of why her parents never left Africa.
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(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594202995
Author:
Fuller, Alexandra
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The
Author:
F .
Author:
uller, Alexandra
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20110823
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Africa » Southern Africa
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
Reference » General
Travel » General

Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness Used Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Penguin Press HC, The - English 9781594202995 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A sardonic follow-up to her first memoir about growing up in Rhodesia circa the 1970s, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, this work traces in wry, poignant fashion the lives of her intrepid British parents, determined to stake a life on their farm despite the raging African civil war around them. Fuller's mother is the central figure, Nicola Fuller of Central, as she is known, born 'one million percent Highland Scottish'; she grew up mostly in Kenya in the 1950s, was schooled harshly by the nuns in Eldoret, learned to ride horses masterfully, and married a dashing Englishman before settling down on their own farm, first in Kenya, then Rhodesia, where the author (known as Bobo) and her elder sister, Vanessa, were born in the late 1960s. The outbreak of civil war in the mid-1970s resolved the family to dig in deeper on their farm in Robandi, rather than flee, to order to preserve a life of colonial privilege and engrained racism that was progressively vanishing. While the girls dispersed as grownups (the author lives in Wyoming with her American husband), the parents managed to secure a fish and banana farm in the middle of the Zambezi valley in Zambia, and under a legendary Tree of Forgetfulness (where ancestors are supposed to reside and help resolve trouble) they ruminate with their visitors over the long-gone days, full of death and loss, the ravages of war, and a determination to carry on. Fuller achieves another beautifully wrought memoir. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review A Day" by , "Alexandra Fuller returns to the African landscape in her memoir, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. It accepts the curious task of being both a prequel and a sequel to her 2001 debut, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood. With a love of landscape, a historian's lens and a knack for laugh-out-loud satire aimed at her mother's narcissism, Fuller tells the broader story of her family's participation in the Rhodesian civil war." (Read the entire Oregonian review)
"Synopsis" by , In this sequel to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family.

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