Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness (Paperback)Alexandra Fuller (author)
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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.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 216 g
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 19 mm
""Fuller achieves another beautifully wrought memoir."
""Fuller's prose is so beautiful and so evocative that readers will feel that they, too, are sitting under [the Tree of Forgetfulness]. A gorgeous tribute to both her parents and the land they love."
"Praise for Alexandra Fuller:
"Fuller is a brave writer who pushes the boundaries of her genre."
""A classic is born in this tender, intensely moving and even delightful journey [Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight]. . . Fuller's book has the promise of being widely read and remaining of interest for years to come."
"-- Publishers Weekly
"[An] electrifying new memoir. . . . Writing in shimmering, musical prose, Ms. Fuller creates portraits of her mother, father and various eccentric relatives that are as indelible and resonant as the family portraits in classic contemporary memoirs like Mary Karr's Liars' Club and Andre Aciman's Out of Egypt."
--Michiko Kakutani, "The""New York Times"
"Rewarding. . . . A love story to Africa and her family. She plumbs her family story with humor, memory, old photographs and a no-nonsense attitude toward family foibles, follies and tragedy. The reader is rewarded with an intimate family story played out against an extraordinary landscape, told with remarkable grace and style."
--"Star Tribune "(Minneapolis)
"Another stunner. . . . Alexandra Fuller, master memoirist, brings her readers new pleasure."
--"The Plain Dealer "(Cleveland)
"Gracefully recounted using family recollections and photos, the author plumbs the narrative with a humane and clear-eyedr
"Another stunner... The writer''s finesse at handling the element of time is brilliant, as she interweaves near-present-day incidents with stories set in the past. Both are equally vivid... With "Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness" Alexandra Fuller, master memoirist, brings her readers new pleasure. Her mum should be pleased."
"Another stunner... The writer's finesse at handling the element of time is brilliant, as she interweaves near-present-day incidents with stories set in the past. Both are equally vivid... With "Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness" Alexandra Fuller, master memoirist, brings her readers new pleasure. Her mum should be pleased."