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In the Sea There are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda

Selected by Sarah Broadhurst

An incredible story and a true one, this is an exceptional novel which gives an inside view of one boy’s struggle for survival and a better life. Having fled their village home in Afghanistan, ten year old Enaiatollah and his mother are struggling for survival at the border of Pakistan. One morning he wakes up to find his mother has gone; with no idea how to find her, Enaiatollah travels from Afghanistan to Italy and the chance of a better life. His courage and resilience in the face of so much adversity is remarkable and awe inspiring.

If you like Fabio Geda you might also like to read books by Morris Gleitzman, Louis Sachar and Vikas Swarup.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


In the Sea There are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda

One night before putting him to bed, Enaiatollah's mother tells him three things: don't use drugs, don't use weapons, don't steal. The next day he wakes up to find she isn't there. They have fled their village in Ghazni to seek safety outside Afghanistan but his mother has decided to return home to her younger children. Ten-year-old Enaiatollah is left alone in Pakistan to fend for himself. In a book based on a true story, Italian novelist Fabio Geda describes Enaiatollah's remarkable five-year journey from Afghanistan to Italy where he finally managed to claim political asylum. His ordeal took him through Iran, Turkey and Greece, working on building sites in order to pay people-traffickers, and enduring the physical misery of border crossings squeezed into the false bottoms of lorries or trekking across inhospitable mountains. A series of almost implausible strokes of fortune enabled him to get to Turin, where he found help from an Italian family and met Fabio Geda. The result of their friendship is this unique book in which Enaiatollah's engaging, moving voice is brilliantly captured by Geda's subtle storytelling. In Geda's hands, Enaiatollah's journey becomes a universal story of stoicism in the face of fear, and the search for a place where life is liveable.

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'The personal stories of refugees and their life-or-death battles are usually lost in between the lines of news reports. In direct and undecorated prose, Fabio Geda beautifully delivers the human experience of Enaiatollah, a ten-year-old Afghani boy, whose will for survival is more than remarkable. In the Sea There Are Crocodiles will make you laugh and cry, and it will also make you a better person. Everyone should read this book.'
-- Marina Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran

'A moving and eye-opening account chronicle of hardships no child should have to endure, mitigated by intermittent kindnesses.'
-- Sunday Times

About the Author

Fabio Geda

Born in Turin in 1972, Fabio Geda is an Italian novelist who works with children in difficulties. He writes for several Italian magazines and newspapers, and teaches creative writing in the most famous Italian school of storytelling (Scuola Holden, in Turin). In the Sea There are Crocodiles is his first book to be translated into English.

Author photo © Dalai Editore

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Book Info

Publication date

5th July 2012


Fabio Geda

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224 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Fiction in translation



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