Synopses & Reviews
From the acclaimed author of Cambridge
comes an ambitious, formally inventive, and intensely moving evocation of the scattered offspring of Africa. It begins in a year of failing crops and desperate foolishness, which forces a father to sell his three children into slavery. Employing a brilliant range of voices and narrative techniques, Caryl Phillips folows these exiles across the river that separates continents and centuries.
Phillips's characters include a freed slave who journeys to Liberia as a missionary in the 1830s; a pioneer woman seeking refuge from the white man's justice on the Colorado frontier; and an African-American G.I. who falls in love with a white Englishwoman during World War II. Together these voices make up a "many-tongued chorus" of common memory—and one of the most stunning works of fiction ever to address the lives of black people severed from their homeland.
In a vastly ambitious and intensely moving novel, the author of Cambridge creates a many-tongued chorus of the African diaspora in the complex and riveting story of a desperate father who sells his three children into slavery.
About the Author
Caryl Phillips was born in St. Kitts, West Indies. Brought up in England, he has written for television, radio, theater, and film. He is the author of three previous books of nonfiction, The European Tribe, The Atlantic Sound, and A New World Order, and six novels, The Final Passage, A State of Independence, Higher Ground, Cambridge, Crossing the River, and The Nature of Blood, and has edited two anthologies, Extravagant Strangers and The Right Set. His awards include the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Phillips lives in New York.