In the Sea There Are Crocodiles
Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
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When ten-year-old Enaiatollah Akbari’s small village in Afghanistan falls prey to Taliban rule in early 2000, his mother shepherds the boy across the border into Pakistan but has to leave him there all alone to fend for himself. Thus begins Enaiat’s remarkable and often punishing five-year ordeal, which takes him through Iran, Turkey, and Greece before he seeks political asylum in Italy at the age of fifteen.
Along the way, Enaiat endures the crippling physical and emotional agony of dangerous border crossings, trekking across bitterly cold mountain pathways for days on end or being stuffed into the false bottom of a truck. But not everyone is as resourceful, resilient, or lucky as Enaiat, and there are many heart-wrenching casualties along the way.
Based on Enaiat’s close collaboration with Italian novelist Fabio Geda and expertly rendered in English by an award- winning translator, this novel reconstructs the young boy’s memories, perfectly preserving the childlike perspective and rhythms of an intimate oral history.
Told with humor and humanity, In the Sea There Are Crocodiles brilliantly captures Enaiat’s moving and engaging voice and lends urgency to an epic story of hope and survival.
Jose Carlos Llop is the author of the novels La camara de ambar(Muchnick, 1996;finalist Prix Jean Monnet de Litteratures Europeennes 2011), El informe Stein(Muchnik, 1995 / RBA, 2008;Prix Ecureuil de litterature etrangere 2008), Hablame del tercer hombre(Muchnik, 2001 / RBA, 2011), El mensajero de Argel(Destino, 2005) andParis: suite 1940(RBA, 2007). He has also written the two books of short storiesPasaporte diplomatico(El Aleph, 1991) andLa novela del siglo(NH Award for the Best Book of Short Stories 1999, El Aleph, 1999). He has publishednine books of poetry and is the author of five volumes of diaries. His latest works areEn la ciudad sumergida(RBA, 2010), an essay on Mallorca that gotthe Special Mention by the Jury of the 2013 Prix Mediterranee Etranger, andSolsticio(RBA, 2013).