'A powerful, emotional and provoking travel book that should be read by everyone heading to Southern Africa' -- Guardian Unlimited Books of the Year
'A powerful, emotional and provoking travel book that should be read by everyone.' -- Guardian Unlimited Books of the Year
'An astonishingly powerful, moving and well-written book...a story that has to be read.'
-- The Tablet
'Heartbreaking...a family secret, history, autobiography and travelogue' -- The Times
'Heartfelt,absorbing and profoundly moving'
-- Sunday Times, Culture
'It's a well-told book, mingling as it does the personal with the wider political scene'
-- Seven Sunday Telegraph
'Peter Godwin's affectionate portrait of his parents...and detailed account of the farm invasions' -- Daily Telegraph
'This is both a moving family memoir and a sobering account...of the planet's nastiest dictatorships'
-- Mail on Sunday
From the Inside Flap
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun is a story of the disintegration of a
family, set against the collapse of a country. Peter Godwin is living
in Manhattan when he returns to Zimbabwe, his birthplace, having
received the news that his father is dying. He finds the former
breadbasket of a continent entering a vortex of violent chaos
and famine, prey to goon squads, presided over by a paranoid
kleptocracy. But his parents, who emigrated from England after
the Second World War, refuse to leave their home.
Against this backdrop, Godwin discovers a fifty-year-old family
secret: his father’s identity is an invention. This Anglo-African
colonial in a safari suit and desert boots is, in fact, a Polish Jew
whose family was torn apart by the Holocaust.
‘When a crocodile eats the sun’ is how some remote tribespeople
of Zimbabwe explain a solar eclipse; the celestial crocodile, they
say, briefly consumes the life-giving star as a warning that he is
much displeased with man below – the very worst of omens. Peter
Godwin’s powerful, moving memoir describes dark times and dark
aspects of human behaviour spanning two continents and half a
century; it is a searing portrayal of a son’s effort to rescue his
family, and a family’s struggle to belong in a hostile land.