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When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa

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When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa Cover

ISBN13: 9780316018715
ISBN10: 0316018716
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"Godwin seems to capture every nuance of life in this beleaguered land: the bundles of near-worthless banknotes carted around in rucksacks and shopping bags, the 'threadbare white shirt' and 'sad, patient face' of an immigration official at Harare's increasingly derelict airport, the feces-splattered tombstone that marks the final resting place of his sister....In one of his most moving passages, Godwin describes the profound discomfort felt by those who can leave from such places at will....In Godwin's case, the distress is intensified because he is running away from his own country, and his own family..." Joshua Hammer, The New York Review of Books (read the entire New York Review of Books review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Hailed by reviewers as "powerful," "haunting" and "a tour de force of personal journalism," When A Crocodile Eats the Sun is the unforgettable story of one man's struggle to discover his past and come to terms with his present. Award winning author and journalist Peter Godwin writes with pathos and intimacy about Zimbabwe's spiral into chaos and, along with it, his family's steady collapse. This dramatic memoir is a searing portrait of unspeakable tragedy and exile, but it is also vivid proof of the profound strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love.

"In the tradition of Rian Malan and Philip Gourevitch, a deeply moving book about the unknowability of an Africa at once thrilling and grotesque. In elegant, elegiac prose, Godwin describes his father's illness and death in Zimbabwe against the backdrop of Mugabe's descent into tyranny. His parent's waning and the country's deterioration are entwined so that personal and political tragedy become inseparable, each more profound for the presence of the other" — Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

"A fascinating, heartbreaking, deeply illuminating memoir that has the shape and feel of a superb novel." -Kurt Anderson, author of Heydey

Synopsis:

A brilliant memoir about a son's return to Africa to uncover the secrets of his family and his home. Bearing witness to Zimbabwe's dramatic spiral downwards, Godwin discovers why Africa was his father's sanctuary from another identity and why his family chose to stay amidst the chaos.

About the Author

Peter Godwin is an award winning author, journalist and film-maker. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, he studied at Cambridge and Ovford and became a foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times of London and BBC TV. Since moving to the US, he has written for National Geographic, the New York Times Magazine and Newsweek.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Gwen Ellis, January 11, 2012 (view all comments by Gwen Ellis)
Just what happened in Zimbabwe that turned it from the breadbasket of Africa to a nation of disenfranchised people? And how did such a stable economy tumble to become the nation with the highest inflation rate in the world? How did the best-educated country become a seething cauldron of brutality? It began to happen with the assumption of Robert Mugabe to the presidency and it continues until today.
Peter Godwin was born and raised in Zimbabwe. It was home and he loved it��"loves it still. As the country deteriorated into ruin with bands of uncontrolled “wovets” (war veterans) running wild and destroying home and homestead, Peter pled with his parents to leave the country and flee to the safety of the UK or America or another African country: but they would have none of it. Zimbabwe was their home and they were staying put. So through burglaries, car robberies, shortages of everything from food to fuel, they carried on. Peter’s sister, Georgiana, a broadcaster of anti-establishment content did flee, to England. From there she continues her broadcasts of truth and freedom into her war-torn homeland.
In addition to the ongoing and tragic story of Zimbabwe, Peter uncovers the amazing story of his father’s secret identity and the cost to his father of maintaining that secret throughout his life. As the secret is peeled back for the reader, we have a chance to look into the death camps of Europe during World War II. We feel the fear and the terror of those who blindly walked into the jaws of death in those camps.
From beginning to a heartrending ending of the book, we see the cost the people of Zimbabwe pay on a daily basis for a situation not of their making and seemingly out of their control. The book is well worth the read.



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stcj, May 7, 2008 (view all comments by stcj)
This was a fascinating and emotional read, particularly in light of the ongoing drama around the presidential election in Zimbabwe. Godwin is a masterful writer.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316018715
Author:
Godwin, Peter
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
Africa - General
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Godwin, Peter
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 1 in 0.75 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Africa » Zimbabwe
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
History and Social Science » World History » General

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316018715 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Godwin seems to capture every nuance of life in this beleaguered land: the bundles of near-worthless banknotes carted around in rucksacks and shopping bags, the 'threadbare white shirt' and 'sad, patient face' of an immigration official at Harare's increasingly derelict airport, the feces-splattered tombstone that marks the final resting place of his sister....In one of his most moving passages, Godwin describes the profound discomfort felt by those who can leave from such places at will....In Godwin's case, the distress is intensified because he is running away from his own country, and his own family..." (read the entire New York Review of Books review)
"Synopsis" by , A brilliant memoir about a son's return to Africa to uncover the secrets of his family and his home. Bearing witness to Zimbabwe's dramatic spiral downwards, Godwin discovers why Africa was his father's sanctuary from another identity and why his family chose to stay amidst the chaos.
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