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The Atlantic Sound (2000)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375401105, Hardcover)Caryl Phillips has established himself as one of the supreme chroniclers of African dispossession and exile. In previous works such as The European Tribe and Crossing the River, he documents the ironies of post-colonial history. Phillips's latest book is perhaps best described as a "meditation," although it is also a fine and invigorating book. The subject of Phillips's broodings is that of displacement, diaspora, homelessness--all those things that ineluctably accompany any descendant of West African slaves. Phillips himself was born in St. Kitts, West Indies, in 1958, and so here he retraces the first transatlantic journey he made with his mother in the late 1950s, by banana boat from the Caribbean to the gray shores of the Mother Country. He visits three cities central to the slave trade: Liverpool, Elmina in Ghana, and Charleston. Finally in Israel, he finds a community of 2,000 African Americans who have lived in the Negev desert for 30 years. Wholly absorbing, always surprising, brilliantly observant, sensitive to human tragedy but never pessimistic, Phillips writes as beautifully as ever. "It is futile to walk into the face of history. As futile as trying to keep the dust from one's eyes in the desert." --Christopher Hart, Amazon.co.uk
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:59 -0400)
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