Leaving Before the Rains Come
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Looking to rebuild after a painful divorce, Alexandra Fuller turns to her African past for clues to living a life fully and without fear
A child of the Rhodesian wars and 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 confronts tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. Fuller soon realizes that what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father. “Tim Fuller of No Fixed Abode”—familiar to readers from Alexandra Fuller’s New York Times–bestselling memoir Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight—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.
“One of the gutsiest memoirs I've ever read. And the writing—oh my god the writing.” —Entertainment Weekly
grandparents seemed to have the sort of marriage anyone might think of as sound. They synched perfectly, their habits and addictions, their passion for Kenya and Cairn terriers, their love of books, strong tea, and rough midmorning martinis. They shared secret languages, speaking Gaelic or Swahili to one another so they could gossip about fellow passengers on trains and planes. And yet at least once a week in the time I spent with them that holiday from Africa, Granny would say, “Marriage is the
street and I’d be unknowable to them too. My children would veer from the very scent of me. I knew this because on the several occasions that Mum went truly mad she stopped behaving in ways that were recognizable as her at all. It was as if her mind had been whisked away and the body we knew of as my mother’s had been left in the possession of some other entity, which did not much care for it. This manifestation of my mother wasn’t vain, or splendid, or capable. It did not bother with any of the
car. Another friend wondered aloud if anyone other than himself would benefit from the calming effects of a Pabst Blue Ribbon. The mood lifted a little. Everyone kept saying, “It’s going to be okay now, Bobo.” It was an hour or two before the nurses wheeled Charlie out for an MRI. Then we had to wait for the results. “We don’t read them here,” the doctor said, by way of not much explanation. “They’re interpreted by a person in Australia or India or somewhere.” Another hour or two passed. Charlie
on her bed. She shone a flashlight in my eyes and pricked my feet with needles and said, “You need to buck up, Bobo.” Then she sent a runner with a message to the top of the farm where Dad was vaccinating cattle. After that, I drifted around on Mum and Dad’s bedspread in a sea of agony until Dad came into the room smelling of cattle dip, manure, and cigarettes. He put a steadying hand on my forehead and said, “Dismounting without permission. Against regulations, you know.” Then he radioed the
phone in my lap, waiting for a call from the outside, as if there was a power beyond these walls that could reach me now, as if the gods could literally check in and let me know how things were going to pan out. At noon, a team of surgeons and specialists came to tell me that the procedure had gone miraculously well. One of the surgeons actually used that word, miracle. They had inserted a stent in Charlie’s right carotid artery. His left carotid artery remained dissected, but blood was flowing