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Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Fi

A memoir of my son

by Alexandra Fuller

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

  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Page Count 272
  • Publication Date April 09, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6104-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $28.00
  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Publication Date April 09, 2024
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6245-8
  • US List Price $28.00

“Fair to say, I was in a ribald state the summer before my fiftieth birthday.” And so begins Alexandra Fuller’s open, vivid new memoir, Fi. It’s midsummer in Wyoming and Alexandra 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 21 years old, dies in his sleep.

No stranger to loss – young siblings, a parent, a home country – Alexandra is nonetheless leveled. 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.

Praise for Fi:

A New York Times Editors’ Choice and Best Book of the Year So Far
An Amazon Editors’ Pick for Best Biographies & Memoirs of April

“Fuller is sagacious and perspicacious. She is a sublime writer. In the hands of another memoirist, the story of Fi might be unbearably sad, but this book is a mesmeric celebration of a boy who died too soon, a mother’s love and her resilience. It will help others surviving loss — surviving life.”—David Sheff, New York Times

“A book that is as hard to pick up as it is to put down—a gutting, terrifying, profound and defiantly enthralling read . . . This book is a sharp ax. By its end, I was moved and devastated yet somehow strengthened.”—Marion Winik, Washington Post

“Elegant and honest . . . [Fi] leaves the reader with a sense of having known a lovely and lively young man.”—New York Times, Editors’ Choice

“Galvanic . . . Fi embodies a paradox: It is a seductive read about unrelenting agony. Self-effacing, wise and dry, the author’s style may be described as ‘frenetic lyric’: The prose hurries as if it, too, was breathless to reach some finish line . . . [Fuller] emerges, if not healed, then a mother who is finally able to answer the only pressing question now: ‘Will we make it?’ Her answer is oblique but empathetic. The object the reader holds is the way a writer says yes.”—Melissa H. Pierson, Wall Street Journal

“Raised in Zimbabwe, Alexandra Fuller was no stranger to grief. She lost siblings, lived through a civil war, and witnessed her Uzi-toting mother battle alcoholism and despair. Still, though, as an adult, she ‘never thought life would serve me up something that stopped me dead.’ Then out of nowhere, her 21-year-old son, Fi, dies in his sleep. [Fi] is a blistering journey through the immediate aftermath. While the subject matter is inescapably painful, Fuller’s gift for language and rhythm, her indefatigable curiosity, elevates her story beyond a primal scream. A read for anyone who’ve ever loved and lost, or ever will; in short, a book for us all.”—Oprah Daily, “Best New Books of Spring”

“In the wake of immense loss, what remains? With clear, luminous prose and courageous insight, Fuller investigates . . . The writing is so stunning, immediate, and heartfelt that the book is often as difficult to read as it is to put down. A true marvel of a memoir, simultaneously beautiful and devastating.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Fuller’s prose is raw, primal, and electric, pulling the reader into both her shock and her attempts to carry on with a heart cleaved in two. Readers who are experiencing their own grief will find solace here, while those who’ve been following Fuller for years through her beautifully written memoirs will want to be with her as she recounts this tragedy.”—Booklist

“[Fuller’s] writing is always a knife pointed straight at the heart . . . [her] fight for survival is against odds no parent should have to face, and it is unpadded and harsh. It means coming to terms with a loss Fuller is unsure she can handle without Fi to guide her. Fi is concerned with finding a way.”—Air Mail

“Fuller is unyielding in her honesty, laying herself bare on the page. With unflinching candour she recounts the agonizing weeks, days, hours and minutes following Fi’s death, her downward spiral into grief and her eventual reconnection with herself and the world around her. And only Fuller could inject humour into a story such as this . . . Fi will undoubtedly hit home with any readers grieving the loss of a loved one. It may also offer hope.”—Winnipeg Free Press

“Alexandra Fuller pulls off quite a feat by simultaneously filling her voice with both life and loss . . . Fuller is often bursting with rage and physical pain, and her voice quickening into near-rant with a raw edge translates both word and feeling perfectly.” —AudioFile

“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

Fi is a devastating, profoundly moving and ultimately uplifting memoir—as told by a brave, wonderful mother who found herself ultimately able to withstand the most terrible of tests.”—Ben Goldsmith, author of God is An Octopus: Loss, Love and a Calling to Nature

Praise for Alexandra Fuller:

“Whew boy, can Alexandra Fuller write.”New York Times

“Fuller is a magnificent, insightful writer.”Washington Post

“Owning a great story doesn’t guarantee being able to tell it well. That’s the individual mystery of talent, a gift with which Alexandra Fuller is richly blessed.”Entertainment Weekly

“Alexandra Fuller has always been a brave writer. We count on her bare-boned, carefully-crafted truths laced with wit and wisdom.”—Terry Tempest Williams