Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and other books by Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller, born in England while her parents were briefly living there, moved to central Africa at the age of two, living there until her marriage in 1993 and a move to Wyoming.  She writes nonfiction books:  a reminiscence of her childhood (Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight); an acquaintance’s experiences during several African wars (Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier); her mother’s life (Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness); and The Legend of Colton Bryant, which portrays the life of an unusually interesting young cowboy from Wyoming, who died young in an oil rig accident.  I listened to audio versions of each of these, which enhanced the experience greatly: the first three are read by a narrator with a South African accent, while Colton Bryant’s narrator has a Western twang, putting the listener in mind of the wide open American West immediately.

Whether listened to or read silently, Fuller’s books immediately place you in her setting.  For instance, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight begins:

Mum says, “Don’t come creeping into our room at night.”
They sleep with loaded guns beside them on the bedside rugs. She says, “Don’t startle us when we’re sleeping.”
“Why not?”
“We might shoot you.”
“Oh.”
“By mistake.”

Fuller’s descriptions are so sensual that you hear, see, feel, and even smell exactly what she is portraying, as in “It is so hot that the flamboyant tree outside cracks to itself, as if already anticipating how it will feel to be on fire…our throats are papered with the heat.”  In addition to the immediacy of her writing, Fuller smoothly fills in pertinent facts and history lessons to help the reader make sense of the complex situations found both in a changing Africa and in oil rush Wyoming.  Nonfiction readers who aren’t simply looking for facts, but for nuance and personal experience, will be enticed by Fuller’s writing and choice of subject.  Fiction readers, too, will be drawn into the place and characters, which are fascinating and personify the old saying, truth is stranger than fiction.

Find and reserve one of Alexandra Fullers books in our catalog.

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