Zambia with Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

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“The pathos and the gift of life is that we cannot know which will be our defining heartbreak, or our most victorious joy.”–Alexandra Fuller, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

  • Here’s what happens:
    • Alexandra Fuller explores her family tree against the backdrop of revolutionary, post-colonial Central Africa. Think Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, plus bullets, safari animals, and–surprisingly–just a little more racism.
  • It’s good because:
    • Fuller is a powerful narrator, and her exceptional childhood and vibrant family lead to a rich and resounding story.There are countless poignant moments in this beautiful book as she weaves her family’s history into the rise and fall of African countries.
  • Read if:
    • You appreciate stories about quirky, flawed families, or if you’re at all interested in the tumultuous histories of Zimbabwe, and the surrounding areas. Fuller shares a variety of perspectives on the complicated and violent events that have led to revolutions in this corner of the world, and she does so in a personal and illuminating way. Also, if you tore through Don’t Let’s go to the Dogs Tonight, this follow-up is necessary.

Up next: Cape Verde with In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbreck.

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