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When A Crocodile Eats the Sun Hardcover – 2 Mar 2007
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The author of the very fine Mukiwa now writes about his family...This powerful tale... --Publishing News
The story of the disintegration of a family, set against the collapse of a country, a sequel of sorts to Peter Godwin's award-winning and bestselling memoir, Mukiwa.See all Product description
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The premise for the narrative is the author's (Peter Godwin who is a freelance journalist) and his family's grim experiences in Zimbabwe. This is at a time when the malevolent Mugabe is dragging the state into a dystopian madness.
Although he grew up in Zimbabwe, Peter ends up residing in New York. He tries to return as often as he can to visit his family who remain in Zimbabwe. In this regard he is steadfast and unwavering. He even enters the country when he is blacklisted and could face potential arrest. His parents are liberal, middle class, well educated folk who have decided to make Zimbabwe their home. Despite the gradual atrophy of their environment and lives, they are in no mood to budge. Underpinning their resolve, is a well tuned moral compass which works off conscientious and altruistic principles culminating in an ethical outlook which is solid and commendable. This forms a stark dichotomy to the ubiquitous malversation in the country they inhabit.
As the country deteriorates further into contused destitution it inevitably catches up with his family. Peter also discovers something about his father's background he never knew. This challenges his own self perception and prompts him to think even more deeply about his own life and even further family relationships. However, throughout this, he is assiduous in his commitments to his parents (to the point he forsakes time with his own children).
Human rights and family relationships are persistent themes throughout this book. Because his family are clearly decent people, and worthy of respect, the reader can only empathise with their affliction. However, despite the forlorn mood, the book has a number of very strong points. Firstly, it's an informative and trustworthy description of life in a country with a long litany of human right abuses. Freedoms and rights we take for granted are just non-existent. Secondly, the effusive nature of his parents and their salient ethical outlook is edifying. Thirdly, it's a story of the philosophical importance of home and the family. Perhaps, in tragic times it can only become evident how important these things are.
I can only but recommend this book.
Rise up oh ye strong men and put this man to shame Zimbabwe could yet become a wonderful country
Peter Godwin has captured his homeland so well, his understanding of the people so deep. How may Peters, white and black, have fled this continent, to leave her so much poorer and even more open to the ongoing abuse by the Mugabe's of our world?
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