When A Crocodile Eats the Sun

Peter Godwin

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01 April 2006

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. But his parents 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.

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.