Alexandra Fuller's 'Travel Light, Move Fast' is a new memoir about her father

Alexandra Fuller
Alexandra Fuller
Published Aug. 1, 2019

Born in England in 1969, Alexandra Fuller spent her childhood in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Her new book, Travel Light, Move Fast, centers around her time on the African continent. Inspired by the death of her father, Tim Fuller, it is a memoir concerning parental love, adventurous living and loss. By the time the book was completed, Fuller would also lose her son. She is recognized for several other memoirs, including Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Leaving Before the Rains Come and Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, as well as the novel Quiet Until the Thaw.

What's on your nightstand?

Adyashanti's Emptiness Dancing. He offers straightforward, pragmatic teachings from the tradition of Zen Buddhism. I am on my second laborious read. I think everything slows down in deep grief. It has been a little over a year since my son died, and grief puts everything into sharp, unavoidable focus. It seems apparent to me many Americans carry with them ungrieved grief, war, addiction, mass shootings. We have a lot of healing to do, and we have left a lot of healing undone. Many of us seem stuck at denial or anger or in terrible depression. It is our nightly news and our daily experience. I can see why people would avoid grief. It is painful but such a necessary dismantling.

What author or publication do you recommend for people to gain a better understanding of those in underserved communities?

All underserved communities in this country are an arrangement. Trickle-down economics gets bottlenecked somewhere above the working classes. I think to better understand underserved communities, we should look at overserved communities, too. Three essential books are Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous People's History of the United States.