Award-Winning Author, Journalist & Filmmaker
Peter Godwin is an award winning author, journalist, and filmmaker. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, he studied at Cambridge and Oxford and became a foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times (London) and BBC TV, reporting from more than sixty-five countries.
As a journalist, Peter Godwin has covered wars. As a soldier, he’s fought them. But nothing prepared him for the surreal mix of desperation and hope he encountered when he returned to Zimbabwe, his broken homeland. In The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe (March 2011), the award-winning author discovers great heroism and resilience in a country being destroyed by a ruthless tyrant, as he tries to make sense of the country he can’t recognize as home.
Godwin arrives in 2008 when Robert Mugabe, the country’s dictator for thirty years, has finally lost an election, leaving Zimbabwe with the world’s highest rate of inflation and the shortest life span. Instead of conceding power, Mugabe launches a brutal campaign of terror against his own people. With foreign correspondents banned, and he himself there illegally, Godwin is one of the few observers to bear witness to this period the locals call “The Fear.”
Godwin is also the author of five other non-fiction books, including When A Crocodile Eats the Sun, his personal story about life in Africa. Sent from his homeland as a young man during the rise of Nazi power, as an adult, Godwin’s father refused to be bullied from another home despite the dangers of staying. In When A Crocodile Eats the Sun, Godwin brilliantly recounts the challenges of aging parents, the raw beauty and complex social and political struggles that make Africa such a compelling continent, and his experiences uncovering his family’s hidden past.
A stirring memoir of the disintegration of a family set against the collapse of a country, When A Crocodile Eats the Sun is a vivid portrait of the profound strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love.
At the podium, Godwin candidly discusses what it is like to have family living in a country in peril and how learning his father’s true history changed his life. He explores the future of Zimbabwe and asks, is it possible the country could return to prosperity and peace?
Godwin currently resides in New York, where he has written for many publications, including National Geographic and The New York Times Magazine. He also teaches at the New School in New York City.