Alexandra Fuller has written three books of non-fiction. Her debut book, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood (Random House, 2001), was a New York Times Notable Book for 2002, the 2002 Booksense Best Non-fiction book, a finalist for the Guardian’s First Book Award and the winner of the 2002 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Her 2004 Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier (Penguin Press) won the Ulysses Prize for Art of Reportage. Her latest book is The Legend of Colton H Bryant (May, 2008 by Penguin Press). Fuller has also written extensively for magazines and newspapers including The New Yorker magazine and National Geographic magazine. She has contributed the essay on Wyoming in the 2008 book State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America.
Alexandra Fuller was born the third of five children to Tim and Nicola Fuller in Glossop, England in 1969, during a brief attempt by her parents to live off the continent of Africa. “A bloody awful dreary place,” her mother called England afterwards. So it was back to Africa for the Fullers in 1972, to Rhodesia, where the Fullers became absorbed, more and more, by that country’s intensifying bloody struggle for independence, “War was like an episode of awful, non-stop weather to us,” Fuller has said. “There were all the signs of build up, but we thought it might blow over. And then, once you’re in the middle of something that intense and all your resources and energy are going into fighting it, there’s no thought of anything except survival. You can’t even think about winning.”
Fuller’s experience of that war (the Fullers farmed close enough to the Mozambique border that they could hear the landmines that separated the two countries going off when people or animals stood on them, and both her parents joined up to fight against the liberation army – her father as a soldier and her mother as a Police Reservist) has informed all three of her books which are, at heart, anti-war stories. But they are also love stories, “People think the book is a love letter to Africa,” Fuller has said of her debut memoir, “….but really it is a love letter to my mother–a fiercely glamorous, hard-drinking woman capable of terrifying and sometimes racist madness and equally terrifying compassion, and a woman whose madness was fueled by the death of three of her children.”
Since 1994, she has lived in Wyoming with her husband. They have three children, several horses, three dogs, three cats and a satisfactory amount of chaos.
Biographical text courtesy Steven Barclay Agency.