This is the final blog in the #SaveTheCulture series. The last book is a true story, “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight”, published by Picador in 2002. The book is written by Alexandra Fuller and it is about her life and growing up in Africa. Thus, we get to follow her life from childhood in Africa all the way to marrying and American citizen and moving to the United States, which is how the book ends.
The book is not just a story of growing up but also a historical account of political and social changes on the African continent. Thus, Fuller’s are settlers in Africa during British colonial power, and they witness racism in Africa against indigenous population, as well as several independence wars and racism and intolerance against settlers once the indigenous population took the power over their own countries. Fuller does not call anyone racist but she is describing everyone, including her own family, with brutal honesty and lets us conclude for our own.
We also get to know different cultures of Africa as Fuller’s moved around to live in all African countries of the former Federation. We feel poverty and despair and get to know how settlers lived at the time. We also learn what it means to live in a dictatorship when you are forced to hire a certain servant you do not want or need so that he can openly spy on you, as well as how settlers felt when they lost the land and their farms once the independence was established.
The book is also a story of food, but not African food for Fuller’s did not have their African servants cook African food but their own English food, not always prepared to their satisfaction. Fullers were also not rich, so we get to know how poorly they ate for many years, but we also get to understand how people appreciate food so long as they have some.
All in all, the book is a bit slow and racist views in the book are sometimes disturbing but the reader still wants to finish it to see what happens in the end. It took me a while to finish it as I was annoyed a few times and did not want to read it, but I am glad I finished it as the book does have a value and gives food for thought.
Thank you for reading,