Leaving Before The Rains Come
List Price: $26.95
Publisher: Penguin Press
First entered: 28th, Feb 2015
Number of weeks: 1
New York Times Bestseller
"One of the gutsiest memoirs I've ever read. And the writing--oh my god the writing." --Entertainment Weekly
A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller’s own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she finally confronts the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. A breathtaking achievement, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a memoir of such grace and intelligence, filled with such wit and courage, that it could only have been written by Alexandra Fuller.
Leaving Before the Rains Come begins with the dreadful first years of the American financial crisis when Fuller’s delicate balance—between American pragmatism and African fatalism, the linchpin of her unorthodox marriage—irrevocably fails. Recalling her unusual courtship in Zambia—elephant attacks on the first date, sick with malaria on the wedding day—Fuller struggles to understand her younger self as she overcomes her current misfortunes. Fuller soon realizes what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father, the man who warned his daughter that "the problem with most people is that they want to be alive for as long as possible without having any idea whatsoever how to live." Fuller’s father—"Tim Fuller of No Fixed Abode" as he first introduced himself to his future wife—was a man who regretted nothing and wanted less, even after fighting harder and losing more than most men could bear.
Leaving Before the Rains Come showcases Fuller at the peak of her abilities, threading panoramic vistas with her deepest revelations as a fully grown woman and mother. Fuller reveals how, after spending a lifetime fearfully waiting for someone to show up and save her, she discovered that, in the end, we all simply have to save ourselves.
An unforgettable book, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a story of sorrow grounded in the tragic grandeur and rueful joy only to be found in Fuller’s Africa.
Name: Alexandra Fuller
About the author:
Alexandra Fuller has written five 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.
The Legend of Colton H Bryant was published in May, 2008 by Penguin Press and was a Toronto Globe and Mail, Best Non-Fiction Book of 2008.
Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness was published in August 2011 (Penguin Press).
Her latest book, Leaving Before the Rains Come, was published in January 2015 (Penguin Press).
Fuller has also written extensively for magazines and newspapers including the New Yorker Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, Vogue and Granta Magazine. Her reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review; The Financial Times and the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Fuller was born in England in 1969 and moved to Africa with her family when she was two. She married an American river guide in Zambia in 1993. They left Africa in 1994 and moved to Wyoming, where Fuller still resides. She has three children.