Ciara's Reviews > Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
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's review
Nov 09, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: autobio-memoir, read-in-2008
Recommended for: white people who grew up in africa, children of alcoholics
Read in November, 2008 , read count: once

this is the memoir of a white woman who grew up with her family in africa (mozambique, zambia, rhodesia). it was difficult for me to really get into this book because there wasn't really any explanation as to why her parents wanted to live in africa. they were occasionally quoted saying things like, "we want to live where the white people control everything," but obviously that's such an incredibly racist, imperalist sentiment that i can hardly wrap my head around it, & also, if you want to live where the white people control everything...uh...try england? (the family is english.) i just didn't get it. i guess it had something to do with how rhodesia had been an english colony, & eventually the afraicans rose up & fought a war for their independence, which they won. fuller's family was on the side of the colonists, obviously. they ran a farm & employed local africans as servants in various capacities. at times, they did helpful things for the locals, like running a clinic where people could get medical care, but at the same time, they were really racist & it was kind of hard for me to like them. & then there was something about the mom being an alcoholic whose alcohol dependence & craziness became more serious with each child she lost (three out of five). but i didn't really like her much so it was hard for me to feel sympathetic. i mean, the author aknowledges the racism her family enacted, & i guess there is something in here about how she eventually came to acknowledge the humanity & independence of the black africans, but something about the book just didn't hang together peroperly for me. i don't know.

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