90 Daze In Lusaka
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Listen to Suzambia being interviewed by Kenny Gman about the book.

90 Daze In Lusaka

   Seeking escape from his boring life, Paul Rainer arrives from the United States to the South Central African country, Zambia. Adapting quickly to the lackadaisical happiness of the land of the Soli people, his rugged, handsome features and southern charm serve him well as he deals with the people, their culture, the poverty and death that covers their land. Paul finds himself thrust into situations with unscrupulous characters and zealots wanting to capitalize on Zambia's recent release from its 30 year One Party Rule. Pulled into a web of deception and greed he finds camaraderie and passion when he meets up with a local colonial, Cheryl, a gentle, serenely wise beauty. Instead of relief from the drama surrounding him, he finds meeting her is only the beginning of his Zambian adventure.


Review in the Zambian newspaper
Bulletin and Record:

Daze in Lusaka

In it but not of it

Review by Mel Phiri

Serendipity is probably the most fitting term for the appearance of Suzanna (Suzambia) Fisher's bookstores as our centenary year of Lusaka comes to a close.

The book is a light-hearted sketch tracing the fading culture of expatriates immediately before and over the couple of decades immediately after Zambian independence in October 1964. Dominating relationships are explained through the eyes of Cheryl, the ex-colonial returned. Historical events are interwoven with the aspirations of an archetypical intrepid American adventurer called Paul, questionable business operators and much of the stuff that Southern African fiction has come to be known for, including the spectra of AIDS.

The author takes license with familiar hames and locations making the tale open to more than a few readings between the lines. However, for me, the caveat in black-and-white that the book is "entirely fictional" anticipates the readier keeping an open mind and enjoying the storytelling for what it is.

The biographical lines blur when you have the opportunity to met the author, Suzanna, in person. Her experiences traverse four continents for about the same amount of decades. It could be taken that the novel represents personal closure on the romanticism of spending her formative years in Zambia. Especially since the author admits to having "taken ages" to finish the book even after regular visits. But personally she gives little away, while being generally bright and engaging on the challenges of writing and publishing.

Then there are the quotes that open each chapter which seem to speak closest of the author herself. Knowing the time and location of the novel so well, I found myself searching for a quote of my own to define our short meeting. I had chosen the venue - a small Chinese restaurant nestled in a leafy suburb of of Lusaka - clearly not part of her novel's setting. Again, totally my makeup, they were lyrics of the legendary Stevie Wonder that resonated best; "If you're in it but not of it, then God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed!"

Finding a place for Ninety Daze in Lusaka and by association 'Suzambia' on your beside table should guarantee any true Lusakan a smile or two.


Bunyip Whispers In The Dreamtime

   Since I finished the novel several years ago, I have developed a story that I originally wrote for a competition in the US, into a radio play. Working with volunteers and the aid of several professionals, we turned the script of Bunyip Whispers in the Dreamtime into a 48-minute sound feature.  I am currently organising for the play to go nationwide on the Satellite Network of Community Radio.  See more here: Bunyip Whispers in the Dreamtime


Suzanna Fisher

   My birthplace was in a mining town called Luanshya to be found in the dark heart of Africa.  Both my parents were doctors and my father’s parents had come into the area in the late 1800’s as missionaries from England and Ireland.
   I was brought up in Northern Rhodesia (as Zambia was called back then).  I went to senior school in Southern Rhodesia and studied Advanced English as well as the required sciences for university entrance. Having dropped out of my medical studies at London University in the UK after five years, I returned to Africa. Here I worked on TVZ (Television Zambia) both as an actress in a movie, and interviewing on “Around the Copperbelt” a weekly roundup.
   In 1976, after meeting and marrying a journalist from New Zealand, I moved to the Antipodes.   We moved around as a family both within Australia and New Zealand.  By this time I had two children.
    I worked as a journalist in the remote outback in the early 80’s:  both as a stringer for the ABC and correspondent writing and selling stories in the News of the North (West Australian Newspaper).  In addition to this I ran a news desk:  editing, writing and presenting the weekly news report on Radio 6NEW for several years. During this time I was lucky enough to interview such dignitaries as ex-president Gerald Ford and the Economic head of the then European Common Market. I also wrote about the King of Sweden, who visited our mining town of 6000 people.
    During the 80 and 90’s I worked as a travel agent for 15 years:  working for airlines and companies as well as running my own agency.
    During the 10 years following my father’s death in 1980 I assisted my mother in the writing and editing of his biography. She decided self publish in Zambia through the White Fathers of the Catholic Church. Nswana the Heir was totally sold out in Zambia and the UK. There is some interest in a re–issue.  If you have heard of Africa House by Christina Lamb – a biography of Sir Stewart Gore Brown, you may be interested to hear that he was my great uncle.
    I returned to Africa in 1992. I began journaling on a regular basis to give my life more continuity. After meeting my 2nd husband in Lusaka I moved to the US in 1994.  In 1998 the storytellers of Arkansas USA convinced me that it was time, and so I finally fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a serious writer.  I sat down and drafted Ninety Days in Lusaka as a long short story.
    At the turn of the century I moved back to Australia and finally settled on the Sunshine Coast. I worked as a scribe and editor for Janet Hall in Nambour for 5 years after her sight became too bad for her to work alone.  I also had some paid work writing a biography for a couple living locally.


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Bunyip Whispers In The Dreamtime