Author Spotlight: Caryl Phillips

By March 13, 2018Authors
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Caryl Phillips was born on the Caribbean Island of St Kitts on 13th March 1958, 4 months later he moved to England with his parents who settled in Leeds.

Phillips read English at Queen’s College Oxford, during which time he directed plays and spent his summers working at The Edinburgh Festival. When he graduated in 1979 he moved to Edinburgh where he wrote his first play “Strange Fruit”.

 

Much of his writing focuses on the Atlantic Slave Trade, it’s legacy and consequences. “Crossing the River”, which is possibly Phillips’ best known work, won The Commonwealth Writers Prize and was shortlisted for The Booker Prize. The story charts 250 years of the African diaspora, tracking three black people on their separate journeys, on three different continents, all struggling with separation from their native Africa.

As well as writing Caryl Phillips has also taught at universities all over the world, including Ghana, Sweden, Barbados and India. He is currently Professor of English at Yale University.

New Book Explores the Relationship Between Writers and their Cats

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Released last month, Writers and Their Cats does exactly what it says on the tin. Writers are a solitary sort, at home all day, and so it does make them perfect for keeping house pets and cats and writing kind of go hand in hand. I’ve often wondered how many authors have a feline muse, draped across their lap as they type and now it seems this new book has all the answers.

This volume celebrates forty five famous writers including Mark Twain, Haruki Murakami, and Ursula K. Le Guin, who have shared their home and writing space with a feline friend. There are photographs and stories all exploring that special bond between wordsmith and mouser.

Here’s a taster:

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Haruki Murakami Withdraws His Book from This Year’s Alternative Nobel Prize

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Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami has requested that his 2017 book Killing Commendatore be withdrawn from this year’s alternative Nobel Prize in Literature award. This year sees an alternative award called the New Academy Prize in Literature, as the original has been postponed this year following a sexual misconduct scandal.

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This Stage Presentation of Richard Wright’s Black Boy is Beautiful

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Richard Nathaniel Wright (September 4th, 1908 – November 28th, 1960) was an American author of novels, short stories, poems and non fiction. Born on a plantation in Roxie, Mississippi, much of Wright’s work concerns racial themes and the plight of African Americans during the late 19th to mid 20th centuries and the discrimination and violence they suffered. He’s credited with helping to change race relations in the USA.
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The Fall of Gondolin Is the Last Story of Tolkien’s to Be Edited by His Son

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For decades, J.R.R. Tolkien’s son Christopher Tolkien, has worked tirelessly to edit his father’s notes and bring us tales from Middle-Earth that remained unfinished at the time of his father’s death. Christopher Tolkien brought us many treasures from Middle-Earth, including the likes of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and a massive twelve volume series called The History of Middle-Earth.

Following this week’s release of The Fall of Gondolin, it seems that at the age of 93, Christopher Tolkien has finally finished working on his father’s legacy. As WinterisComing.net reports, Christopher has stated that “The Fall of Gondolin is indubitably the last” of his father’s work he’ll be involved with.

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“No Guarantees That Things Aren’t Going to Go Tits Up,” Says Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was first published in 1985 and has since become a modern classic for its depiction of a dystopian future where women are treat as second class citizens in a patriarchal society. A recent TV adaptation by Hulu has since propelled the novel to further fame, and the current political climate in the United States has made the book increasingly relevant.

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