Author: Alexandra Fuller
The author 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, while her mother worked the family farm. Though this is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller's endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate.
Author: Alexandra Fuller
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
Release Date: 2003-03-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The author describes her childhood in Africa during the Rhodesian civil war of 1971 to 1979, relating her life on farms in southern Rhodesia, Milawi, and Zambia with an alcoholic mother and frequently absent father.
A story of survival and war, love and madness, loyalty and forgiveness, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an intimate exploration of Fuller’s parents and of the price of being possessed by Africa’s uncompromising, fertile, death-dealing land. We follow Tim and Nicola Fuller hopscotching the continent, restlessly trying to establish a home. War, hardship, and tragedy follow the family even as Nicola fights to hold on to her children, her land, her sanity. But just when it seems that Nicola has been broken by the continent she loves, it is the African earth that revives and nurtures her. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is Fuller at her very best.
When Alexandra ("Bo") Fuller was home in Zambia a few years ago, visiting her parents for Christmas, she asked her father about a nearby banana farmer who was known for being a "tough bugger." Her father's response was a warning to steer clear of him; he told Bo: "Curiosity scribbled the cat." Nonetheless, Fuller began her strange friendship with the man she calls K, a white African and veteran of the Rhodesian war. With the same fiercely beautiful prose that won her acclaim for Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller here recounts her friendship with K. K is, seemingly, a man of contradictions: tattooed, battle scarred, and weathered by farm work, he is a lion of a man, feral and bulletproof. Yet he is also a born-again Christian, given to weeping when he recollects his failed romantic life, and more than anything else welling up inside with memories of battle. For his war, like all wars, was a brutal one, marked by racial strife, jungle battles, unimaginable tortures, and the murdering of innocent civilians—and K, like all the veterans of the war, has blood on his hands. Driven by K's memories, Fuller and K decide to enter the heart of darkness in the most literal way—by traveling from Zambia through Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Mozambique to visit the scenes of the war and to meet other veterans. It is a strange journey into the past, one marked at once by somber reflections and odd humor and featuring characters such as Mapenga, a fellow veteran who lives with his pet lion on a little island in the middle of a lake and is known to cope with his personal demons by refusing to speak for days on end. What results from Fuller's journey is a remarkably unbiased and unsentimental glimpse of men who have killed, mutilated, tortured, and scrambled to survive during wartime and who now must attempt to live with their past and live past their sins. In these men, too, we get a glimpse of life in Africa, a land that besets its creatures with pests, plagues, and natural disasters, making the people there at once more hardened and more vulnerable than elsewhere. Scribbling the Cat is an engrossing and haunting look at war, Africa, and the lines of sanity.
New York Times Bestseller "One of the gutsiest memoirs I've ever read. And the writing--oh my god the writing." --Entertainment Weekly A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter 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 finally confronts the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. A breathtaking achievement, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a memoir of such grace and intelligence, filled with such wit and courage, that it could only have been written by Alexandra Fuller. Leaving Before the Rains Come begins with the dreadful first years of the American financial crisis when Fuller’s delicate balance—between American pragmatism and African fatalism, the linchpin of her unorthodox marriage—irrevocably fails. Recalling her unusual courtship in Zambia—elephant attacks on the first date, sick with malaria on the wedding day—Fuller struggles to understand her younger self as she overcomes her current misfortunes. Fuller soon realizes what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father, the man who warned his daughter that "the problem with most people is that they want to be alive for as long as possible without having any idea whatsoever how to live." Fuller’s father—"Tim Fuller of No Fixed Abode" as he first introduced himself to his future wife—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. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Alexandra Fuller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2009-04-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
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.
The debut novel from the bestselling author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and Leaving Before the Rains Come. “Awe inspiring . . . An ardent, original, and beautifully wrought book.” —The New York Times Book Review Lakota Oglala Sioux Nation, South Dakota. Two Native American cousins, Rick Overlooking Horse and You Choose Watson, are pitted against each other as their tribe is torn apart by infighting. Rick chooses the path of peace and stays; You Choose, violent and unpredictable, strikes out on his own. When he returns, after three decades behind bars, he disrupts the fragile peace and threatens the lives of the entire reservation. A complex tale that spans generations and geography, Quiet Until the Thaw conjures, with the implications of an oppressed history, how we are bound not just to immediate family but to all who have come before and will come after us, and, most of all, to the notion that everything was always, and is always, connected.
Thrilling, heartbreaking, and, at times, absurdly funny, The Last Resort is a remarkable true story about one family in a country under siege and a testament to the love, perseverance, and resilience of the human spirit. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Douglas Rogers is the son of white farmers living through that country’s long and tense transition from postcolonial rule. He escaped the dull future mapped out for him by his parents for one of adventure and excitement in Europe and the United States. But when Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe launched his violent program to reclaim white-owned land and Rogers’s parents were caught in the cross fire, everything changed. Lyn and Ros, the owners of Drifters–a famous game farm and backpacker lodge in the eastern mountains that was one of the most popular budget resorts in the country–found their home and resort under siege, their friends and neighbors expelled, and their lives in danger. But instead of leaving, as their son pleads with them to do, they haul out a shotgun and decide to stay. On returning to the country of his birth, Rogers finds his once orderly and progressive home transformed into something resembling a Marx Brothers romp crossed with Heart of Darkness: pot has supplanted maize in the fields; hookers have replaced college kids as guests; and soldiers, spies, and teenage diamond dealers guzzle beer at the bar. And yet, in spite of it all, Rogers’s parents–with the help of friends, farmworkers, lodge guests, and residents–among them black political dissidents and white refugee farmers–continue to hold on. But can they survive to the end? In the midst of a nation stuck between its stubborn past and an impatient future, Rogers soon begins to see his parents in a new light: unbowed, with passions and purpose renewed, even heroic. And, in the process, he learns that the "big story" he had relentlessly pursued his entire adult life as a roving journalist and travel writer was actually happening in his own backyard. Evoking elements of The Tender Bar and Absurdistan, The Last Resort is an inspiring, coming-of-age tale about home, love, hope, responsibility, and redemption. An edgy, roller-coaster adventure, it is also a deeply moving story about how to survive a corrupt Third World dictatorship with a little innovation, humor, bribery, and brothel management. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Victor Serge
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
"A New York Review Books Original Victor Serge is one of the great men of the twentieth century: anarchist, revolutionary, agitator, theoretician, historian of his times, and a fearless truthteller. Here Serge describes his upbringing in Belgium, the child of a family of exiled Russian revolutionary intellectuals, his early life as an activist, his time in a French prison, the active role he played in the Russian Revolution, as well as his growing dismay at the Revolutionary regime's ever more repressive and murderous character. Expelled from the Soviet Union, Serge went to Paris, and barely escaped the Nazis to find a final refuge in Mexico. Memoirs of a Revolutionary describes a thrilling life on the frontlines of history and includes brilliant portraits of politicians from Trotsky and Lenin and Stalin to major writers like Alexander Blok and Andrey Bely. Above all, it captures the sensibility of Serge himself, that of a courageous and singularly appealing advocate of human liberation who remained undaunted in the most trying of times. Peter Sedgwick's fine translation of Serge's Memoirs of a Revolutionary was cut by a fifth when it was first published in 1963. This new edition is the first in English to present the entirety of Serge's book"--
"Absolutely essential reading, period."---Alexandra Fuller, bestselling author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight In the tradition of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, this is a masterful, humane work of literary journalism by New Yorker staff writer Alexis Okeowo--a vivid narrative of Africans who are courageously resisting their continent's wave of fundamentalism. In A Moonless, Starless Sky Okeowo weaves together four narratives that form a powerful tapestry of modern Africa: a young couple, kidnap victims of Joseph Kony's LRA; a Mauritanian waging a lonely campaign against modern-day slavery; a women's basketball team flourishing amid war-torn Somalia; and a vigilante who takes up arms against the extremist group Boko Haram. This debut book by one of America's most acclaimed young journalists illuminates the inner lives of ordinary people doing the extraordinary--lives that are too often hidden, underreported, or ignored by the rest of the world.
Author: Lisa Fugard
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2013-03-07
Lisa Fugard's Skinner's Drift is a beautifully written début that reveals the secrets and violence buried beneath the earth of a South African farm. Skinner's Drift, lying amongst the sandstone rocks of the eastern borders of South Africa, beside the snaking bed of the Limpopo River, was Eva Van Rensburg's home. As a young girl she would range through its mopane trees at night, hunting jackals with her stammering father. But as soon as she grew up, Eva fled the farm and has not returned for more than ten years. Now, as her father lies dying in hospital with only his claustrophobic sister for company, Eva must go back to confront her family and remember the beauty, and the horror, of her life on Skinner's Drift. Praise for Skinner's Drift: 'A wonderfully brave novel - unflinchingly and lovingly written. It is books like this - books that shake the dust out of our heads and hearts - that allow us all to understand our past slightly better and walk forward more confidently' Alexandra Fuller 'An achingly beautiful book' Monica Ali 'Fugard wonderfully captures the swift rivers of change in which contempt and fear, resentment, righteousness and loyalty churn in one unending torrent' Daily Mail Lisa Fugard grew up in South Africa and now lives in the desert of Southern California with her husband and young son. Her short stories have been published in magazines and literary journals and she has written many travel pieces for the New York Times. Skinner's Drift is her first novel.
Author: Kate Geagan
Publisher: Rodale Books
Release Date: 2009-03-17
Genre: Health & Fitness
Over the past 20 years America has been steadily marching toward a diet that is more drenched in fossil fuel than any key nutrient. Experts estimate that it now takes roughly 7 to 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to bring one calorie of food energy to the American plate. Not only have our eating habits turned us into an increasingly overweight society, but the alarming truth is that our food choices are having as much of an impact on the planet as the cars we drive. Go Green Get Lean is the perfect eating plan for our time. Revealing easy-to-follow steps anyone can take to eat for a healthy body and planet—and drop up to 9 pounds in the first 2 weeks—Kate Geagan helps readers see the questionable value of "convenience" foods, and explains why going green doesn't require a drastic vegan overhaul. Because there are many nutritional benefits to be drawn from some non-plant-based food choices, she points readers to the best selections, including occasional splurges they can enjoy in good conscience. In learning to make truly LEAN choices, Kate offers the following straightforward formula: Before eating food, ask yourself: Local or global? What was the Energy used to bring it to my plate? (Include processing, packaging, transportation, and temperature of food.) Animal or plant? (Plant foods are greener.) Is this Necessary? (Is this food critical to my health and weight goals?) This trailblazing work—the first to offer a specific weight-loss plan along with the promise of a lowered carbon footprint—makes it possible for readers to help the environment and their waistlines at the same time.
A warm and personal memoir by Nelson Mandela's trusted assistant for almost 20 years tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman's life, beliefs, prejudices—everything she once believed—were utterly transformed by the man she had been taught was the enemy.