Fi

Fi

A Memoir of My Son

Summary

From the award-winning New York Times-bestselling author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller, comes a career-defining memoir about grieving the sudden loss of her twenty-one-year-old child

'Truly extraordinary'
HELEN MACDONALD, author of H is for Hawk

It’s midsummer in Wyoming and Alexandra Fuller is barely hanging on. Grieving her father and pining for her home country of Zimbabwe, reeling from a midlife breakup, freshly sober and piecing her way uncertainly through a volatile new relationship with a younger woman, Alexandra vows to get herself back on even keel.

And then – suddenly and incomprehensibly – her son Fi, at twenty-one years old, dies in his sleep.

No stranger to loss – young siblings, a parent, a home country – Alexandra is nonetheless levelled. At the same time, she is painfully aware that she cannot succumb and abandon her two surviving daughters as her mother before her had done. From a sheep wagon deep in the mountains of Wyoming to a grief sanctuary in New Mexico to a silent meditation retreat in Alberta, Canada, Alexandra journeys up and down the spine of the Rocky Mountains in an attempt to find how to grieve herself whole. There is no answer, and there are countless answers – in poetry, in rituals and routines, in nature and in the indigenous wisdom she absorbed as a child in Zimbabwe. By turns disarming, devastating and unexpectedly, blessedly funny, Alexandra recounts the wild medicine of painstakingly grieving a child in a culture that has no instructions for it.

Reviews

  • A truly extraordinary memoir about a mother’s loss of her son: beautiful, fearless, raw and an utterly compelling read
    Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk

About the author

Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller is the author of four memoirs, including Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight – a New York Times Notable Book for 2002, the 2002 Booksense Best Non-Fiction book, a finalist for the Guardian’s First Book Award and the winner of the 2002 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize – and the New York Times-bestselling Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, two books of non-fiction, and the novel Quiet Until the Thaw. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, National Geographic, Granta, The New York Times, Guardian and Financial Times.
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