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Book 33 of 80

June 2, 2010

I guess I should have saved the YouTube clip from yesterday as my intro to Zimbabwe. Oh well. So, for this country I am reading the memoir Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller. The British Fuller moved to Zimbabwe (Rhodesia then) when she was three; she also lived in Malawi and Zambia. There’s a lot of criticism of this book — that Fuller just perpetuates colonialist attitudes. Out of Africa, it is not. But I think that’s the danger of a memoir; they are deeply personal accounts of our lives, oftentimes without commentary, without attention to political correctness. And sometimes that’s okay.

Obviously, that will be the final verdict of this particular memoir. However, I’m prepared to read it as a glimpse into an authentic life experience and, frankly, aren’t all of our life experiences clouded by the culture we come from? That is not an excuse for blatant disrespect or prejudice. And since I haven’t read this, I don’t know what the fuss is about exactly — maybe I’ll be wrong. Dear me, I’ve been wrong before. (By saying “dear me”, did I just sound like a ninety-seven year-old woman?)

Anyway, side note: I got Stephen King’s Under the Dome as a gift from my newspaper staff…it’s supposed to be read for the “America” stop. Aren’t they so amazingly sweet? They wrote in it and everything. (They might read the blog…wasn’t that on my list of ‘If Only’ books?) Of course, it’s like GIGANTIC and it weighs a ton! Like, I could use it as a hand-weight kind of heavy. It has 1073 pages. I hope I’m not scrambling to finish the challenge, maybe I’ll have made up some time and I can actually read this in 2010. Chances are slim, but since the kids gave it to me…I’ll try extra hard.

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