Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Sep 13 2011
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A New York Times Notable Book
“[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-eyed gaze—a lush story, largely lived within a remarkable place and time.”
“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
About the Author
ALEXANDRA FULLER was born in England in 1969. She moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with her family when she was two. After that country's war of independence (1980) her family moved first to Malawi and then to Zambia where she met her husband. Fuller received a BA from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and in 2007 she received an honorary doctorate in letters from that institution. In 1994, she move to the United States. She now lives in Wyoming with her husband, two daughters and son.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Her characters are so vivid that at times i found myself arguing out loud with the parents or trying to soothe the daughters. It does go to prove how resilient children are in the most dire of circumstances as long as Mommy and Daddy love them. It was my second experience reading about life in Central Africa and very educational because it was so personal.
Read the sequel also 'Don't Let's go to the Dogs Tonight ' by Alexandra Fuller. Order the two of them together read 'Cocktail ' first( Mommy's point of view ) then Dogs
(Daughters' point of view).
A must read for all Africans
For most of this book it feels as if Ms. Fuller jotted down some notes & anecdotes & then decided to write a book, but didn't take the trouble to organize the text into a focused manuscript.
The book is jumpy - that is - jumps from one thing to another & not in a smooth & cohesive way.
Her parents sound like perfectly stalwart, courageous people albeit a bit quirky. One thing for sure which I found endearing throughout is their unequivocal love for each other. We should all be so lucky to have parents like that. Her mother refers to the previous book as the `Awful Book' so perhaps this is to make amends. (?)
Unfortunately, I feel there could be some exaggerations involved here & even some events feel more `fiction' than fact...but then, who am I to say? I was not there. I did feel I learned some things about Africa that I did not know before & for that I'm glad I read the book. Part 3 really was the best part of all.