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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alexandra Fuller returns to Atlanta with 'shimmering' memoir

Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller is returning to Africa - and Atlanta.

Fuller, an acclaimed memoirist and journalist who's written for the New Yorker, National Geographic, and Vogue among other publications, is visiting the Margaret Mitchell House tonight to discuss her latest work, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, released last August. Fuller's family is Scottish, but she grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the '60s and '70s while civil war raged in neighboring Mozambique.

The book is styled as both prequel and sequel to 2001's Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood and further explores Fuller's diverse upbringing. Cocktail racked up major, adjective-stacked praise from several publications upon its release. The New York Times' Michiko Kakutani called Fuller's prose "shimmering, musical." Understandable, given that the book begins with the following unfurling of clauses:

Our Mum - or Nicola Fuller of Central Africa, as she has on occasion preferred to introduce herself - has wanted a writer in the family as long as either of us can remember, not only because she loves books and has therefore always wanted to appear in them (the way she likes large, expensive hats, and likes to appear in them) but also because she has always wanted to live a fabulously romantic life for which she needed a reasonably pliable witness as scribe.

You can read through the book's beginning on Amazon. Consider it prep work for the appearance - especially if Fuller, who is scheduled for 7 p.m., is as good in person as she is on the page.

Admission is $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers and free for Atlanta History Center Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required. 404-814-4150. www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

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