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August 3, 2020 | Rome, Italy

A Distant Shore

By | 2018-03-21T18:27:30+01:00 October 21st, 2004|Recent Reviews|

By Caryl Phillips

Vintage, 2003. 288 pages.

Phillips is a wondrous spelunker. His characters are clad in a soft lint of sad soot they cannot shed. Solomon, an African immigrant, and Dorothy, a middle-class piano teacher, live in a housing estate outside London.

Their intersection allows the St. Kitts-born Phillips to chronicle two descents. The British suburbs would seem a promised land after Solomon’s African toils. Bigotry ends that promise. Solomon’s fall accelerates Dorothy’s sympathetic collapse. A somber tale, yes, but Solomon and Dorothy are memorably resonant.

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