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Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier Hardcover – 3 Sep 2004
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These days, powerfully evocative personal memoirs like Alexandra Fuller's Scribbling the Cat are so plentiful, it would be tempting to think that such quality writing is the norm. Generally, it isn't--but on the strength of this book and Fuller's equally impressive Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, this is an author from whom we may expect only the best.
The first book, a childhood memoir, brought the author's childhood experiences as a young white girl living on a farm in Rhodesia (and suffering through the Civil War) vividly to life; the new book has Alexandra Fuller (known as 'Bo') taking a journey to her parents' farm in Zambia and finding things very changed. She encounters the beguiling and attractive neighbour of her parents, 'K', who has lived life on the edge. He entrances Alexandra with descriptions of the turbulent life he has led, and the two form a bond, attempting to forge a shared approach to life and love in a land that is tearing itself apart with civil strife.
In her atmospheric and subtle prose, Fuller pulls off something of a juggling act here: while the relationship between herself and the conflicted, seductive 'K' is foregrounded, with every nuance of emotion between the two subtly delineated, the reader is simultaneously granted a picture of a country in strife that misses nary a detail in its careful but discursive line drawing. The author may have settled down to family life in Wyoming, but it's impossible not to feel that this was clearly the most significant period of her life--and her sharing of that time with the reader in this finelyhoned book is something for which we may be grateful. --Barry Forshaw
Like all the veterans of the war, K has blood on his hands. Driven by K's memories, Fuller and K decide to enter the heart of darkness in the most literal way, by travelling from Zambia through Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Mozambique to visit the scenes of the war and to meet other veterans. What results from Fuller's journey is a remarkably unbiased and unsentimental glimpse at life in Africa, a land that besets its creatures with pests, plagues, and natural disasters, making the people there at once more hardened and more vulnerable than elsewhere.See all Product description
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