Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400079841, 235pp.
Publication Date: November 11, 2008
With his characteristic grace and forceful prose, Phillips describes the lives of three very different men: Francis Barber, given to the 18th-century writer Samuel Johnson, whose friendship with Johnson led to his wretched demise; Randolph Turpin, a boxing champion who ended his life in debt and decrepitude; and David Oluwale, a Nigerian stowaway who arrived in Leeds in 1949 and whose death at the hands of police twenty years later was a wake up call for the entire nation. As Phillips weaves together these three stories, he illuminates the complexities of race relations and social constraints with devastating results.
“[A] searching meditation on outsiders in England. . . . Foreigners is written, like all Phillips' books, in a style of even, sorrowful precision that enrages as it informs.” —Pico Iyer, Time“Heartbreaking. . . . For his artistic vision and moral courage, we owe Phillips a deep debt of gratitude.” —The Boston Globe“Inspired. . . . Foreigners makes [an] important contribution through the lens of personal history and narrative . . . Disconcertingly resonant.” —The Guardian (London)