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Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness
by Fuller, Alexandra
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1. How would you describe Alexandra Fuller's parents, especially, her mother Nicole? Is her mother mad, courageous, stubborn, foolish? Why does she stay on in Africa after having lost so much?

2. Nicole and Tim Fuller have such divergent personalities: how would you describe their marriage? What enables their marriage to survive the many tragedies and calamities over the years?

3. Although the author moves to America in 1994, her love for Africa remains, shining through her prose. Point to some examples of both the beauty and dangers Fuller describes. Would you wish to have had such a childhood in Africa?

4. Nicole Fuller hoped her life was dramatic or romantic enough to inspire a biography "along the lines of West With the Night, The Flame Trees of Thika or Out of Africa," says her daughter. Have you read or seen any film adaptations of those other works? If so, how does Cocktail Hour compare?

5. What were Alexandra's parents' attitudes toward colonialism? Were they unabashed supporters or what the author refers to as "White liberals who survived postindependence...by declairing with suddenly acquired backbone and conviction that they'd always abeen on the side of 'the people'"? How does Alexandra portray Rhodesian colonialism? What were its human costs?

Additional discussion questions from: LitLovers
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