African History, General
Featured Items
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
An African Childhood
Paperback      ISBN: 0375758992
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A worthy heir to Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham, Alexandra Fuller shares visceral memories of her childhood in Africa, and of her headstrong, unforgettable mother.

"This is not a book you read just once, but a tale of terrible beauty to get lost in over and over."--Newsweek

"By turns mischievous and openhearted, earthy and soaring . . . hair-raising, horrific, and thrilling."--The New Yorker

Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight is suffused with Fuller's endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller's debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.

From 1972 to 1990, Alexandra Fuller--known to friends and family as Bobo--grew up on several farms in southern and central Africa. Her father joined up on the side of the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, and was often away fighting against the powerful black guerilla factions. Her mother, in turn, flung herself at their African life and its rugged farm work with the same passion and maniacal energy she brought to everything else. Though she loved her children, she was no hand-holder and had little tolerance for neediness. She nurtured her daughters in other ways: She taught them, by example, to be resilient and self-sufficient, to have strong wills and strong opinions, and to embrace life wholeheartedly, despite and because of difficult circumstances. And she instilled in Bobo, particularly, a love of reading and of storytelling that proved to be her salvation.

Alexandra Fuller writes poignantly about a girl becoming a woman and a writer against a backdrop of unrest, not just in her country but in her home. But Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight is more than a survivor's story. It is the story of one woman's unbreakable bond with a continent and the people who inhabit it, a portrait lovingly realized and deeply felt.

Praise for Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

"Riveting . . . full of] humor and compassion."--O: The Oprah Magazine

"The incredible story of an incredible childhood."--The Providence Journal
Out of Africa: And Shadows on the Grass
Out of Africa
And Shadows on the Grass
Paperback      ISBN: 0679724753

In describing her experiences managing a coffee plantation in Kenya, the author provides insights into the nature of African life

The Lost World of the Kalahari
The Lost World of the Kalahari
Paperback      ISBN: 0156537060

An account of the author's grueling, but ultimately successful, journey in 1957, through Africa's remote, primitive Kalahari Desert, in search of the legendary Bushmen, the hunters who pray to the great hunters in the sky.

The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur
The Translator
A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 1400067448

"I am the translator who has taken journalists into dangerous Darfur. It is my intention now to take you there in this book, if you have the courage to come with me."
The young life of Daoud Hari-his friends call him David-has been one of bravery and mesmerizing adventure. He is a living witness to the brutal genocide under way in Darfur.
"The Translator" is a suspenseful, harrowing, and deeply moving memoir of how one person has made a difference in the world-an on-the-ground account of one of the biggest stories of our time. Using his high school knowledge of languages as his weapon-while others around him were taking up arms-Daoud Hari has helped inform the world about Darfur.
Hari, a Zaghawa tribesman, grew up in a village in the Darfur region of Sudan. As a child he saw colorful weddings, raced his camels across the desert, and played games in the moonlight after his work was done. In 2003, this traditional life was shattered when helicopter gunships appeared over Darfur's villages, followed by Sudanese-government-backed militia groups attacking on horseback, raping and murdering citizens and burning villages. Ancient hatreds and greed for natural resources had collided, and the conflagration spread.
Though Hari's village was attacked and destroyedhis family decimated and dispersed, he himself escaped. Roaming the battlefield deserts on camels, he and a group of his friends helped survivors find food, water, and the way to safety. When international aid groups and reporters arrived, Hari offered his services as a translator and guide. In doing so, he risked his life again and again, for the government of Sudan had outlawed journalists in the region, and death was the punishment for those who aided the "foreign spies." And then, inevitably, his luck ran out and he was captured. . . .
"The Translator" tells the remarkable story of a man who came face-to-face with genocide- time and again risking his own life to fight injustice and save his people.

The Healing Drum: African Wisdom Teachings
The Healing Drum
African Wisdom Teachings
Paperback      ISBN: 0892812567
The Healing Drum traces the extraordinary cultural legacy of the Minianka tribe of West Africa, for whom music serves a sacred, healing function for the individual and society. The authors explore the Minianka view of humanity, music, and the cosmos relative to work, celebration, herbal medicine, dance, trance, initiation, and death.
The first book of its kind, delivering a message of untapped wisdom and power from a little-known culture through the universal medium of music.
I Dreamed of Africa
I Dreamed of Africa
Paperback      ISBN: 0140287442

At the age of twenty-five, Kuki Gallman, divorced and badly injured in a devastating car accident, left Italy to convalesce in Africa with the man who would become her second husband. Enchanted by the land, they established a vast ranch on the Laikipia plateau in Kenya. But Africa's splendor came with a price. Filled with pain and joy, beauty and drama, Gallman's haunting memoir "captures perfectly the magic of Kenya" (The New York TImes Book Review).

Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier
Scribbling the Cat
Travels with an African Soldier
Paperback      ISBN: 0143035010

When Alexandra ("Bo") Fuller was home in Zambia a few years ago, visiting her parents for Christmas, she asked her father about a nearby banana farmer who was known for being a "tough bugger." Her father's response was a warning to steer clear of him; he told Bo: "Curiosity scribbled the cat." Nonetheless, Fuller began her strange friendship with the man she calls K, a white African and veteran of the Rhodesian war. With the same fiercely beautiful prose that won her acclaim for Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller here recounts her friendship with K.

K is, seemingly, a man of contradictions: tattooed, battle scarred, and weathered by farm work, he is a lion of a man, feral and bulletproof. Yet he is also a born-again Christian, given to weeping when he recollects his failed romantic life, and more than anything else welling up inside with memories of battle. For his war, like all wars, was a brutal one, marked by racial strife, jungle battles, unimaginable tortures, and the murdering of innocent civilians--and K, like all the veterans of the war, has blood on his hands.

Driven by K's memories, Fuller and K decide to enter the heart of darkness in the most literal way--by traveling from Zambia through Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Mozambique to visit the scenes of the war and to meet other veterans. It is a strange journey into the past, one marked at once by somber reflections and odd humor and featuring characters such as Mapenga, a fellow veteran who lives with his pet lion on a little island in the middle of a lake and is known to cope with his personal demons by refusing to speak for days on end. What results from Fuller's journey is a remarkably unbiased and unsentimental glimpse of men who have killed, mutilated, tortured, and scrambled to survive during wartime and who now must attempt to live with their past and live past their sins. In these men, too, we get a glimpse of life in Africa, a land that besets its creatures with pests, plagues, and natural disasters, making the people there at once more hardened and more vulnerable than elsewhere.

Scribbling the Cat is an engrossing and haunting look at war, Africa, and the lines of sanity.

Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa
Country of My Skull
Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa
Paperback      ISBN: 0812931297

Ever since Nelson Mandela dramatically walked out of prison in 1990 after twenty-seven years behind bars, South Africa has been undergoing a radical transformation. In one of the most miraculous events of the century, the oppressive system of apartheid was dismantled. Repressive laws mandating separation of the races were thrown out. The country, which had been carved into a crazy quilt that reserved the most prosperous areas for whites and the most desolate and backward for blacks, was reunited. The dreaded and dangerous security force, which for years had systematically tortured, spied upon, and harassed people of color and their white supporters, was dismantled. But how could this country--one of spectacular beauty and promise--come to terms with its ugly past? How could its people, whom the oppressive white government had pitted against one another, live side by side as friends and neighbors?

To begin the healing process, Nelson Mandela created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, headed by the renowned cleric Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Established in 1995, the commission faced the awesome task of hearing the testimony of the victims of apartheid as well as the oppressors. Amnesty was granted to those who offered a full confession of any crimes associated with apartheid. Since the commission began its work, it has been the central player in a drama that has riveted the country. In this book, Antjie Krog, a South African journalist and poet who has covered the work of the commission, recounts the drama, the horrors, the wrenching personal stories of the victims and their families. Through the testimonies of victims of abuse and violence, from the appearance of Winnie Mandela to former South African president P. W. Botha's extraordinary courthouse press conference, this award-winning poet leads us on an amazing journey.

Country of My Skull captures the complexity of the Truth Commission's work. The narrative is often traumatic, vivid, and provocative. Krog's powerful prose lures the reader actively and inventively through a mosaic of insights, impressions, and secret themes. This compelling tale is Antjie Krog's profound literary account of the mending of a country that was in colossal need of change.
Desert Flower
Desert Flower
Paperback      ISBN: 0688172377

Waris Dirie ran away from her oppressive life in the African desert when she was barely in her teens, illiterate and impoverished, with nothing to her name but a tattered shawl. She traveled alone across the dangerous Somali desert to Mogadishu--the first leg of a remarkable journey that would take her to London, where she worked as a house servant; then to nearly every corner of the globe as an internationally renowned fashion model; and ultimately to New York City, where she became a human rights ambassador for the U.N. Desert Flower is her extraordinary story.

A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962
A Savage War of Peace
Algeria 1954-1962
Paperback      ISBN: 1590172183

The Algerian War lasted from 1954 to 1962. It brought down six French governments, led to the collapse of the Fourth Republic, returned de Gaulle to power, and came close to provoking a civil war on French soil. More than a million Muslim Algerians died in the conflict and as many European settlers were driven into exile. Above all, the war was marked by an unholy marriage of revolutionary terror and repressive torture.

Nearly a half century has passed since this savagely fought war ended in Algeria's independence, and yet--as Alistair Horne argues in his new preface to his now-classic work of history--its repercussions continue to be felt not only in Algeria and France, but throughout the world. Indeed from today's vantage point the Algerian War looks like a full-dress rehearsal for the sort of amorphous struggle that convulsed the Balkans in the 1990s and that now ravages the Middle East, from Beirut to Baghdad--struggles in which questions of religion, nationalism, imperialism, and terrorism take on a new and increasingly lethal intensity.

A Savage War of Peace is the definitive history of the Algerian War, a book that brings that terrible and complicated struggle to life with intelligence, assurance, and unflagging momentum. It is essential reading for our own violent times as well as a lasting monument to the historian's art.