Michael Holman

The Twilight of White Africa

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun

By

Picador 305pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

What is it about the experience of whites in Rhodesia that readers and publishers find so fascinating? Peter Godwin led the field with his memoir Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa. Then came Alexandra Fuller’s Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, which she followed up with Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier. Coming soon is Lauren St John’s Rainbow’s End: Childhood, War and an African Farm. And almost certain to repeat the deserved success of Mukiwa is Godwin’s sequel, When a Crocodile Eats the Sun.

This output seems a mite excessive, given the number of whites: peaking at around 275,000 in the early 1970s, today it is fewer than 30,000. Does the interest in their old lifestyle reflect a concern about kith and kin? After all, most ‘Rhodies’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter