Portrait of a mother in Africa

Portrait of a mother in Africa
Alexandra Fuller paints her parents as admirably resilient, but never camouflages their flaws.

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness By Alexandra Fuller Simon & Schuster, €18.90.

By Alexandra Fuller

Simon & Schuster, €18.90

The tree in the clunky title of Alexandra Fuller's new memoir is symbolic on many levels. Fuller's parents live near the tree, on the banks of the Zambezi river in Zambia, where they farm bananas and fish. According to local folklore, the tree has palliative properties: if troubled, you sit underneath it and wait for your ancestors to help you.

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