Mom's Past is Mother's Milk to Memoirist

Nov 19, 2012

Alexandra Fuller’s 2001 memoir, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, offered a first-hand girl’s view of life in British-run Rhodesia as it transitioned violently into independent Zimbabwe and civil war played out in nearby Mozambique. It won fans around the world. Her mother was not one of them. In fact, her mother, who refers to Alexandra as “Bobo,” refers to the bestsellers as “that awful book.” It does present a brutally honest picture of her mum as sometimes unhinged, alcoholic, and racist – but also hardworking and dedicated to their White African way of life.

Alexandra Fuller's latest memoir examines her mother's life.
Credit Lake Effect

A decade later, Alexandra Fuller examines her mum’s life and background in more detail in her latest memoir, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. Fuller came to Milwaukee earlier this year for an event at Boswell Book Company, an on-stage interview Mitch Teich was fortunate to moderate. He asked her whether she felt she already understood her mother better in the years leading up to this latest book.

Fuller grew up in Africa; she now lives in Wyoming.