Travel Light, Move Fast (Paperback)

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(Biography - Memoir)

Staff Reviews

After her father dies, Alexandra Fuller realizes the world she had written herself out of contained the life his laid-back nature had composed, from his moving her and her family to pre-Revolutionary Rhodesia when she was very young. In her newest memoir, Travel Light, Move Fast, Fuller reconsiders her father's role in shaping her world, exploring ideas about 'forever,' a concept she now recognizes as untenable in her. She talks with her mother, who recalls too well the poverty her husband's socialist ideals forced them to endure, and with her sister, who like the author was sent to attend Africa's best white boarding schools, which opened opportunities for them upon which they both left Africa. Now finding herself unable to elegize her or her family's loss, Fuller realizes that the "peace and calm" her father lived by were the same concepts which continue to elude her living as an adult. — Ray Marsocci

This Is a wonderfully soulful memoir and an homage to the author’s parents, particularly her father, a man who thrived on living on the edge. Their strengths and weaknesses made for a grounded (in a most unorthodox sense) childhood. As a reader it was sometimes hard to catch my breath, whether from laughter or, occasionally, from tears of empathy. — Maeve Noonan


From bestselling author Alexandra Fuller, the utterly original story of her father, Tim Fuller, and a deeply felt tribute to a life well lived

Six months before he died in Budapest, Tim Fuller turned to his daughter: “Let me tell you the secret to life right now, in case I suddenly give up the ghost." Then he lit his pipe and stroked his dog Harry’s head. Harry put his paw on Dad’s lap and they sat there, the two of them, one man and his dog, keepers to the secret of life. “Well?” she said. “Nothing comes to mind, quite honestly, Bobo,” he said, with some surprise. “Now that I think about it, maybe there isn’t a secret to life. It’s just what it is, right under your nose. What do you think, Harry?” Harry gave Dad a look of utter agreement. He was a very superior dog. “Well, there you have it,” Dad said. 

After her father’s sudden death, Alexandra Fuller realizes that if she is going to weather his loss, she will need to become the parts of him she misses most. So begins Travel Light, Move Fast, the unforgettable story of Tim Fuller, a self-exiled black sheep who moved to Africa to fight in the Rhodesian Bush War before settling as a banana farmer in Zambia. A man who preferred chaos to predictability, to revel in promise rather than wallow in regret, and who was more afraid of becoming bored than of getting lost, he taught his daughters to live as if everything needed to happen all together, all at once—or not at all. Now, in the wake of his death, Fuller internalizes his lessons with clear eyes and celebrates a man who swallowed life whole.

A master of time and memory, Fuller moves seamlessly between the days and months following her father’s death, as she and her mother return to his farm with his ashes and contend with his overwhelming absence, and her childhood spent running after him in southern and central Africa. Writing with reverent irreverence of the rollicking grand misadventures of her mother and father, bursting with pandemonium and tragedy, Fuller takes their insatiable appetite for life to heart. Here, in Fuller’s Africa, is a story of joy, resilience, and vitality, from one of our finest writers.

About the Author

ALEXANDRA FULLER was born in England in 1969. In 1972, she moved with her family to a farm in southern Africa. She lived in Africa until her midtwenties. In 1994, she moved to Wyoming. She is the author of several memoirs, including Leaving Before the Rains ComeCocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, and Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight. 

Praise For…

Travel Light, Move Fast is a sensitive, meticulously wrought portrait of one family’s sometimes-challenging dynamics, set against an unforgiving African backdrop. Fuller’s beautiful prose juxtaposes the grieving process with the lessons she learned from the man whose adventures shaped her.” —BookPage
“A story of joy, resilience and vitality.”Business Day

“[Fuller’s] family remains endlessly fascinating and delightful companions for long-time readers and new ones alike. . . A gorgeously written tribute to a life well lived and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable loss and grief.” —Booklist, starred review 

[Fuller] sifted through a lifetime of memories in order to pen this celebration of the man whose profound influence helped shape her own worldview. [She]writes gracefully about embracing grief as an indelible part of the human experience. Another elegant memoir from a talented storyteller."—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9781101979815
ISBN-10: 110197981X
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 240
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