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A Distant Shore
Synopses & Reviews
From Caryl Phillips — acclaimed author of The Nature of Blood and The Atlantic Sound — a masterful new novel set in contemporary England, about an African man and an English woman whose hidden lives, and worlds, are revealed in their fragile, fateful connection.
Dorothy and Solomon live in a new housing estate on the outskirts of an English village. She's recently bought her bungalow; he's recently become the night watchman. He is black, an immigrant. She is white, a recently retired music teacher. They are both solitary, reticent outsiders. When they move tenuously toward each other and their paths briefly cross, neither of them can know that it will be the last true human contact either will have.
The novel unfolds into the past to show us how Solomon and Dorothy have arrived at this moment: Solomon, a former soldier, escaping the horrors of a war-ravaged African country, entering England illegally, a non-man with no resources but his own waning strength, and no comprehension of the society that both hates and harbors him; Dorothy, the product of a troubled childhood and a messy divorce, fleeing the repercussions of a desperate obsession. In scene after resonant scene, we watch as Solomon and Dorothy come to live inside themselves, closing off from a world that has changed — and changed them — beyond recognition.
In their powerfully compelling stories, Caryl Phillips has created a brilliant and moving portrait of modern human displacement: from home, from heart, and from self.
"Phillips has created a poignant and quietly powerful portrait of contemporary alienation." Library Journal
"A remarkable and penetrating novel." The Times of London
"Suspenseful, atmospheric, adventurous." The Independent
"Phillips crafts his novel with great skill, portraying his characters with a faithful eye that reveals their inner beauty as clearly as their defects. A true master of form." Publishers Weekly
"Harsh and sad, but worth the trip." Kirkus Reviews
From the acclaimed author of The Nature of Blood and The Atlantic Sound comes a masterful new novel set in contemporary England about an African man and an English woman whose hidden lives are revealed in their fragile, fateful connection.
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