LEAVING BEFORE THE RAINS COME

Alexandra Fuller

A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller’s own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she finally confronts the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. A breathtaking achievement, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a memoir of such grace and intelligence, filled with such wit and courage, that it could only have been written by Alexandra Fuller.

Leaving Before the Rains Come begins with the dreadful first years of the American financial crisis when Fuller’s delicate balance—between American pragmatism and African fatalism,

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A child of the Rhodesian wars and daughter of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller’s own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she finally confronts the tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. A breathtaking achievement, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a memoir of such grace and intelligence, filled with such wit and courage, that it could only have been written by Alexandra Fuller.

Leaving Before the Rains Come begins with the dreadful first years of the American financial crisis when Fuller’s delicate balance—between American pragmatism and African fatalism, the linchpin of her unorthodox marriage—irrevocably fails. Recalling her unusual courtship in Zambia—elephant attacks on the first date, sick with malaria on the wedding day—Fuller struggles to understand her younger self as she overcomes her current misfortunes. Fuller soon realizes what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father, the man who warned his daughter that “the problem with most people is that they want to be alive for as long as possible without having any idea whatsoever how to live.” Fuller’s father—”Tim Fuller of No Fixed Abode” as he first introduced himself to his future wife—was a man who regretted nothing and wanted less, even after fighting harder and losing more than most men could bear.

Leaving Before the Rains Come showcases Fuller at the peak of her abilities, threading panoramic vistas with her deepest revelations as a fully grown woman and mother. Fuller reveals how, after spending a lifetime fearfully waiting for someone to show up and save her, she discovered that, in the end, we all simply have to save ourselves. An unforgettable book, Leaving Before the Rains Come is a story of sorrow grounded in the tragic grandeur and rueful joy only to be found in Fuller’s Africa.

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  • Penguin Press
  • Hardcover
  • January 2015
  • 272 Pages
  • 9781594205866

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$26.95

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About Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller was born in England in 1969. In 1972, she moved with her family to a farm in southern Africa. She lived in Africa until her midtwenties. In 1994, she moved to Wyoming. She is the author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, a national bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2002, and a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award; Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier, winner of the 2005 Ulysses Award for Art of Reportage; The Legend of Colton H. Bryant; Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness; and Leaving Before the Rains Come. Fuller lives in Wyoming with her three children.

Praise

“Powerful, raw, and painful, Fuller’s writing is so immediate, so vivid that whether she’s describing the beauty of Zambia or the harrowing hours following a devastating accident, she leaves the reader breathless. Another not-to-be-missed entry from the gifted Fuller.” —Booklist (starred review)

“The rich narration of Fuller’s upbringing, sensibility, and loneliness make clear that she remains one of the most gifted and important memoirists of our time.” —Publishers Weekly

“Fuller’s talent as a storyteller makes this memoir sing.” —Kirkus

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

Vivid, insightful and sly…Bottom line: Out of Africa, brilliantly.”—People