You know, if I’d grown up in a war-torn country, learned to use an Uzi in grade school and written a New York Times-bestselling memoir about it, I might be tempted to just coast on that for the rest of my life.
But that’s not the route that Alexandra Fuller decided to go. Fuller was born in England in 1969. When she was a toddler, her parents moved the family to rural Zimbabwe, then called Rhodesia, to run a farm. The timing wasn’t great, since the country was embroiled in civil war that wouldn’t be resolved until the late 1970s. Fuller’s first book, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, landed on the New York Times Bestseller List and won awards including the 2002 Booksense best nonfiction book and the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize.
Fuller has gone on to an extensive writing career, publishing more books and writing for The New Yorker and National Geographic. She eventually married an American, left Africa and moved to Wyoming, of all places, telling stories that might be a little closer to home for us westerners. The Legend of Colton H. Bryant is based on the true story of a young Wyoming man who died falling off an oil rig in 2006.
As part of the Creative Writing Program’s fall series, Fuller visits the University of Montana for a craft lecture on Fri., Nov. 22, at 12:10 in the Liberal Arts Building, room 11, with an evening reading in Turner Hall at 7 PM. Her experiences continue to be her inspiration; her latest published book is Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, a follow-up to Go to the Dogs. Slated for fall 2014 is Falling, about marriage and divorce. Life’s annoying like that: It never lets you just rest on your laurels.—Kate Whittle