Author(s): Caryl Phillips
In this richly descriptive and haunting narrative, Caryl Phillips chronicles a journey through modern-day Europe, his quest guided by a moral compass rather than a map. Seeking personal definition within the parameters of growing up black in Europe, he discovers that the natural loneliness and confusion inherent in long journeys collides with the bigotry of the "European Tribe" -- a global community of whites caught up in an unyielding, Eurocentric history.Phillips deftly illustrates the scenes and characters he encounters, in places like poverty-stricken Casablanca, racy Costa del Sol, and peaceful Provence where he muses with writer James Baldwin over dinner about the state of the human spirit. He explores Venice through the Shakespearean outcast Othello and views Amsterdam through the eyes of young Anne Frank. The result is, as Peter Ackroyd describes it, "a testament to one man's struggle against an enemy most of us are content not to see. . . . Engaging [and] moving".