Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness
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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

3.86 (9,875 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

ocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulnesstells the story of the author's mother, Nicola Fuller.

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. 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 built their ramshackle dining room under the Tree of Forgetfulness, which is the meeting place for villagers 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. Funny, tragic, terrifying, exotic and utterly unself-conscious, this is a story of survival and madness, love and war, passion and compassion.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 112 x 178 x 20mm | 158.76g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Export
  • 1849838984
  • 9781849838986
  • 46,052

Review quote

"Ten years after publishing "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood", Alexandra (Bobo) Fuller treats us in this wonderful book to the inside scoop on her glamorous, tragic, indomitable mother...Bobo skillfully weaves together the story of her romantic, doomed family against the background of her mother's remembered childhood."--THE WASHINGTON POST "Electrifying...Writing in shimmering, musical prose... Ms. Fuller manages the difficult feat of writing about her mother and father with love and understanding, while at the same time conveying the terrible human costs of the colonialism they supported... Although Ms. Fuller would move to America with her husband in 1994, her own love for Africa reverberates throughout these pages, making the beauty and hazards of that land searingly real for the reader." --Michiko Kakutani, THE NEW YORK TIMES "[A]n artistic and emotional feat."--THE BOSTON GLOBE "[Fuller]""conveys the magnetic pull that Africa could exert on the colonials who had a taste for it, the powerful feeling of attachment. She does not really explain that feeling--she is a writer who shows rather than tells--but through incident and anecdote she makes its effects clear, and its costs."--THE WALL STREET JOURNAL "An eccentric, quixotic and downright dangerous tale with full room for humor, love and more than a few highballs."--HUFFINGTON POST "Fuller''s narrative is 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."--MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE "Fuller's narrative is 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."--MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE "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." --CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER "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." --CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER "[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 "Gracefully recounted using family recollections and photos, the author plumbs the narrative with a humane and clear-eyed gaze--a lush story, largely lived within a remarkable place and time." "--Kirkus Reviews""Fuller achieves another beautifully wrought memoir." "--Publishers Weekly ""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." "--Booklist "Praise for Alexandra Fuller: "Fuller is a brave writer who pushes the boundaries of her genre." "--The Telegraph ""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"
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About Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller was born in England in 1969 and in 1972 she moved with her family to a farm in Rhodesia. After the civil war there in 1981, the Fullers moved first to Malawi, then to Zambia. She now lives in Wyoming and has three children.
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Rating details

9,875 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 26% (2,546)
4 43% (4,290)
3 23% (2,319)
2 6% (554)
1 2% (166)
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