When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa
Godwin, the author of a previous memoir about growing up during Zimbabwe’s war of independence, has written a sequel of sorts, tracing the collapse of his country in the course of the past decade (the violently destructive Robert Mugabe is the "crocodile" of the title) in tandem with the decline of his father. The memoir’s central drama comes from the dying father’s revelation that he is not British at all, as his son had always believed, but a Polish Jew, born Kazimierz Jerzy Goldfarb, whose mother and sister were killed in Treblinka. Occasionally, Godwin’s attempts to knit the various story lines together seem a bit pat—"A white in Africa is like a Jew everywhere . . . waiting for the next great tidal swell of hostility"—but he ultimately delivers a powerful narrative of grief and desperation, both personal and national.
- The New Yorker
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