Crossing The River

From the acclaimed author of Cambridge (1991) 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 ( and follows 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 a stunning work of fiction addressing the lives of black people severed from their homeland.

256 pages in Vintage paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0099498261

Caryl Phillips
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