Meet the bookfest authors: Alexandra Fuller
Uncategorized | August 15, 2008
The latest in our series of profiles of writers, poets and editors who will participate in the second annual Equality State Book Festival in Casper:
Alexandra Fuller’s first book, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood (Random House, 2001), was a New York Times Notable Book for 2002, the 2002 Booksense Best Non-fiction book, a finalist for the Guardian’s First Book Award and the winner of the 2002 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Her 2004 Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier (Penguin Press) won the Ulysses Prize for Art of Reportage. Her latest book is The Legend of Colton H Bryant (Penguin Press, May, 2008). She has also written for The New Yorker and National Geographic.
Fuller was born in England in 1969, during a brief attempt by her parents to live away from Africa. The Fullers returned to Africa in 1972, to Rhodesia, and soon the country was descending into its war of independence. That war informs her first two books.
“People think the book is a love letter to Africa,” Fuller has said of her debut memoir, “but really it is a love letter to my mother — a fiercely glamorous, hard-drinking woman capable of terrifying and sometimes racist madness and equally terrifying compassion, and a woman whose madness was fueled by the death of three of her children.”
Fuller was educated in Zimbabwe until she was eighteen. Watching the atmosphere in the aftermath of independence gradually, then precipitously turn into Mugabe’s one-man attempt to take a country to the grave with him has also informed Fuller’s work.
“Africa is a great teacher,” she has explained. “We’re not a good example of much, but we’re a terrible warning of power run amok and of the long, high price of oppression.”
Since 1994, Fuller has lived in Wyoming with her husband. They have three children, several horses, three dogs, and three cats.
At the book festival, Fuller will be reading from her newest book, The Legend of Colton H Bryant (Penguin Press, May, 2008), on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 in Durham Hall in the Fine Arts building on the Casper College campus. Books will be available for sale on site and she will sign them after her reading.