Hunting in Zimbabwe for Identity and Family When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa By Peter Godwin; Little, Brown and Company; 352 pages; $24.99. Last August, I visited an elderly Jewish couple at their spacious apartment in an affluent neighborhood in Johannesburg, South Africa. A distant family friend had referred to them as people who would welcome the opportunity to...

The Idea War Against African AIDS The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West and the Fight Against AIDS by Helen Epstein; 352 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux Last year, while visiting a black township on the outskirts of Cape Town along with a group of European tourists, I entered the lair of a sangoma, a witch doctor — or, in culturally sensitive language, a “traditional...

In the Heart of the Country Shades of Difference: Mac Maharaj and the Struggle for South Africa by Padraig O’Malley; Viking; 648 pages; $32.95.  To the victors, it seems, go not only the spoils but also the history. In South Africa, that history has largely been written by those sympathetic to the African National Congress, the liberation movement headed by the country’s peerlessly charismatic...

Girlish Figure The staged legacy of Rachel Corrie. Of all the subjects for a 90-minute, one-woman show, Rachel Corrie ought to have been at the bottom of the list. Corrie was the 23-year-old Evergreen State College student crushed in March 2003 by an Israeli bulldozer that was either set to raze a Palestinian home or clear brush...