Caryl Phillips - Official Web Site
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The Atlantic Sound

What constitutes "home"? Seen through the historical prism of the Atlantic slave trade, Phillips undertakes a personal quest to come to terms with the dislocation and discontinuities that a diasporan history engenders in the soul of an individual.
  • 2000
  • Faber and Faber (UK)
  • Alfred A. Knopf (US)
  • Where to buy

Phillips initially journeys from the Caribbean to Britain by banana boat, repeating a journey he made to England as a child in the late nineteen-fifties. He then visits three pivotal cities: Liverpool, developed on the back of the slave trade, which is now in denial about the true facts of its own history; Elmina, on the west coast of Ghana, site of the most important slave fort in Africa, and now a tourist destination for African-Americans; and Charleston in the American south, celebrated as the city where the Civil War began—not for being the city where fully one-third of African-Americans were landed and sold into bondage. Finally, Phillips journeys to Israel where he encounters a community of two thousand African-Americans, whose thirty-year sojourn in the Negev desert leaves him once again contemplating the modern condition of diasporan displacement.

Also available as a downloadable e-book. See the "Where to buy" page for more details.