When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin - review by Michael Holman

Michael Holman

The Twilight of White Africa

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun


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’ were British immigrants, and their fate seems

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