8th Annual Spring Benefit with Alexandra Fuller
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
8:00 a.m. Registration
8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Welcome & Mission Moment
9:15 a.m. Featured Speaker Alexandra Fuller
10:00 a.m. Book signing immediately following the program
Books will be available for purchase from Books Inc.
Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club Ballroom
2900 Sand Hill Road Menlo Park, CA 94025
Carpooling strongly encouraged. Complimentary valet parking available.
Join us at Bay Area Cancer Connections Spring Benefit, our largest fundraiser of the year! Spend the morning with your friends and learn how we’re impacting the lives of people facing cancer in our community. We are thrilled to host Alexandra Fuller, award-winning author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood and Leaving Before the Rains Come. Fuller will discuss her work, how to be true to oneself, the complicated issues that women face and how to be authentic and resilient in the face of them.
For ticket sales or
questions please call
(650) 326-6299, ext. 17
Alexandra Fuller was born the third of five children to Tim and Nicola Fuller in Glossop, England in 1969, during a brief attempt by her parents to live outside of Africa. “A bloody awful dreary place,” her mother called England afterwards. So it was back to Africa for the Fullers in 1972, to Rhodesia, where the Fullers became absorbed, more and more, by that country’s intensifying bloody struggle for independence. “War was like an episode of awful, non-stop weather to us,” Fuller has said. “There were all the signs of build-up, but we thought it might blow over. And then, once you’re in the middle of something that intense and all your resources and energy are going into fighting it, there’s no thought of anything except survival. You can’t even think about winning.”
Fuller’s experience of that war (the Fullers farmed close enough to Mozambique that they could hear the border landmines going off when people or animals stood on them, and both her parents joined up to fight against the liberation army – her father as a soldier and her mother as a Police Reservist) has informed all her books which are, at heart, anti-war stories. But they are also love stories: “People think the book is a love letter to Africa,” Fuller has said of her debut memoir, “but really it is a love letter to my mother – a fiercely glamorous, hard-drinking woman capable of terrifying and sometimes racist madness and equally terrifying compassion, and a woman whose madness was fueled by the death of three of her children.”
Fuller was educated in Zimbabwe until she was eighteen, first at a small government boarding school near the family’s farm in the country’s eastern mountains and then at a private girls-only boarding school in Harare. Watching the celebratory atmosphere in the aftermath of indepen¬dence gradually – and then precipitously – turn into the horror of Mugabe’s one-man attempt to take a country to the grave with him has also informed Fuller’s work. While she has not written anything overtly political, she says that everything we do is political from the decision we make to wake up in the morning to the clothes we put on our bodies, to the words we have the courage to speak. “Africa is a great teacher,” she has explained. “We’re not a good example of much, but we’re a terrible warning of power run amok and of the long, high price of oppression.” The early experience of being always close to death and to the reality of death has made Fuller’s work ring with a kind of urgent honesty, “I never felt immortal,” she explained in a 2002 interview, but “always a breath away from dying, and that gives [a person] supernatural clarity.”