Synopses & Reviews
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
"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
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.