Don’t Let’s Go Down To the Dogs Tonight – Alexandra Fuller

Loaned to me by Lucy, with high praise, this autobiography of Alexandra Fuller’s childhood in Africa has sat by my bedside gathering dust for a few months, on the twin grounds that I’d heard bits of it on Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, and I wasn’t sure of the appeal of An African Childhood.

Having picked it up on my return from Bristol last night, I’m glad I didn’t send it back to Paris unread, for it is proving a fascinating book, not least of all because ‘Bobo’ is just a little over a year older than I am. It is in the observing differences between our childhoods that whetted my appetite, but what makes this book all the more fascinating is that added to the tales of daily life are the influences of the political history of Zambia, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and southern Africa, from the perspective of a white girl/woman who ‘could have been me’, and yet whose life seems to come from another era.

Buy it: Amazon link