A reflective, entertaining and challenging collection of non-fiction writing from one of our great novelists.
What do we mean by ‘English’? How do we think about ourselves and how does that image measure up against reality. How is it refracted through the prism of writing, music and cinema? How does our island look from abroad, and what aspects of its experience does it share with America, for example – a nation composed of outsiders and the huddled masses but which now has a Department of Homeland Security?
Colour Me English is a reflective, entertaining and challenging collection of essays and other non-fiction writing which ranges from the literary to the cultural and autobiographical.
Writing movingly about growing up in Leeds during the 1970s, Caryl Phillips goes on to describe the experience of living and working in America, and travels in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Belgium and France and beyond. Amongst many others, he considers the lives and work of figures including Chinua Achebe, James Baldwin, Warren Beatty and Luther Vandross.
But Colour Me English always circles back to questions of identity and belonging, to the nature of tribal belonging and of its reverse, exclusion.
“writing with finesse and wider purpose...bracing and affecting volume”
Donna Seaman, Booklist