As part of our Best Books of 2011 coverage, our editors weigh in on some of their personal favorites from the list.
To travel in Africa with Alexandra Fuller is to see the continent and its recent history through a very personal lens. In her first memoir, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, she explored her childhood in the former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Zambia and Malawi. In her latest, she looks at her parents’ lives, their eccentricities, their accomplishments and their unimaginable tragedies, from her mother’s childhood in Kenya to their current home on the fish and banana farm they own in Zambia. They are fascinating characters in their own right (particularly Fuller’s mother), but what is most compelling about their story is the way in which they have finally come to embrace, rather than fight against, the Africa they live in today.