Dean's Blog

Don’t let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

Alexandra FullerI have really enjoyed reading Alexandra Fuller’s autobiography of her childhood years growing up in Southern Africa – Zimbabwe – then Rhodesia moving towards independence and becoming Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. These were violent years and a very tough environment to be growing up in for the white community, many of whom knew no other home than Africa and for whom moving to Europe was not an option to be considered. Bobo’s (Alexandra) mother, a remarkably well read woman despite her isolation, lost three of her children and alchohol was her way of dulling the pain. I loved the moment when Bobo, at the age of fourteen, discovers the humanity of the African community when she is invited into the very poor home for a meal following a motorbike accident in which she hits, but thankfully does not injure, their child. The experience begins to undermine the racist framework that has shaped her family’s outlook and the next day she delivers bags of clothes to the family. As the cover says: In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an ordinary family in an extraordinary time.