Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller is the childhood memoir of a girl born in the UK who grew up in Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe in the 1970s and 1980s. The internal strife and racial conflict were almost a constant background noise to Bobo and her sister Vanessa. She describes Mum using an Uzi to kill a snake and hearing mine detonations that have killed either an African or baboon as if they were not so out of the ordinary things.
Poverty and alcoholism spawn tragic events which little Bobo internalizes. I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but there are some horrific episodes. It’s definitely not a feel-good type of book. Yet, you can’t help but laugh at some of the stories, especially the typical sisterly interactions of childhood.
And it seems that Africa has a way of invading your blood. After being forced to leave due to civil unrest, Bobo longs for her home and the descriptions in this memoir are saturated with that longing.
Honestly, after reading this emotionally powerful book, I have no desire to ever visit any country in Africa. The heat, dust, racial divide, and the LIONS make it a place I will happily avoid for the rest of my life. However, I loved reading about it through Bobo’s eyes. So if you enjoy being an armchair traveler like me, then Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller is a must-read!