Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Penguin, Apr 26, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
40 Reviews
When Alexandra ("Bo") Fuller was home in Zambia a few years ago, visiting her parents for Christmas, she asked her father about a nearby banana farmer who was known for being a "tough bugger." Her father's response was a warning to steer clear of him; he told Bo: "Curiosity scribbled the cat." Nonetheless, Fuller began her strange friendship with the man she calls K, a white African and veteran of the Rhodesian war. With the same fiercely beautiful prose that won her acclaim for Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller here recounts her friendship with K.

K is, seemingly, a man of contradictions: tattooed, battle scarred, and weathered by farm work, he is a lion of a man, feral and bulletproof. Yet he is also a born-again Christian, given to weeping when he recollects his failed romantic life, and more than anything else welling up inside with memories of battle. For his war, like all wars, was a brutal one, marked by racial strife, jungle battles, unimaginable tortures, and the murdering of innocent civilians—and K, like all the veterans of the war, has blood on his hands.

Driven by K's memories, Fuller and K decide to enter the heart of darkness in the most literal way—by traveling from Zambia through Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Mozambique to visit the scenes of the war and to meet other veterans. It is a strange journey into the past, one marked at once by somber reflections and odd humor and featuring characters such as Mapenga, a fellow veteran who lives with his pet lion on a little island in the middle of a lake and is known to cope with his personal demons by refusing to speak for days on end. What results from Fuller's journey is a remarkably unbiased and unsentimental glimpse of men who have killed, mutilated, tortured, and scrambled to survive during wartime and who now must attempt to live with their past and live past their sins. In these men, too, we get a glimpse of life in Africa, a land that besets its creatures with pests, plagues, and natural disasters, making the people there at once more hardened and more vulnerable than elsewhere.

Scribbling the Cat is an engrossing and haunting look at war, Africa, and the lines of sanity.



  

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Freaking incredible writing - Goodreads
An incredibly effective writer - Goodreads
It is just a pleasure to luxuriate in her prose. - Goodreads
Fuller is a gifted writer. - Goodreads

Review: Scribbling the Cat

User Review  - Kelly Kittel - Goodreads

I would read Alexandra Fuller's grocery list but if this were such a list, I must say I'd be left standing in the frozen food aisle wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into. As usual, I loved ... Read full review

Review: Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier

User Review  - Toni - Goodreads

It would be difficult to find a better writer of contemporary literature today than Alexandra Fuller, who is such a gifted writer that her prose nearly becomes poetry. Who but a poet could write ... Read full review

Contents

PART ONE Sole Valley Zambia
Characteristic Malidadi Flood
Worms and
Words and
Curiosity and Cats
Dogs and Curiosity
The Left Behind
God Is Not My Messenger
Demons and Godsends
Cow Bones II
Beware of Land Mines and Speed Guns
Were Not Really Lost
We Just Dont Know Where We
Or Why We Are Here
Have You Got a Map?
Dont Remember Getting Here

PART TWO Mozambique
Cow Bones I
Plagues
The Big Silence
The Journey Is
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

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 has three children.

Bibliographic information