Color Me English (Hardcover)
Migration and Belonging Before and After 9/11
New Press, 9781595586506, 339pp.
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
About the Author
Praise For Color Me English: Migration and Belonging Before and After 9/11…
Named one of the 20 Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2011 by The Huffington Post
"[A] polymorphous delight that always retains at its core the notion of identity: how it is constructed, how it is thrust upon us, how we can change it....Though Phillips writes specifically here about racism and the experiences of immigrants, his cogent argument is equally applicable to the climate in which we find ourselves."
—The Independent (UK)
With the elegance and maturity of a prize-winning author . . . Phillips lives, breathes, and masterfully teases into prose the singular dilemma of the outsider.
The Boston Globe
[Phillips is] an insightful and sympathetic chronicler of race, British identity, and the immigrant experience.
The Christian Science Monitor
[Phillips] writes wonderfully crafted, deeply meditative treatises on the black experience in a global and historical sense . . . . [He is] intellectual and reflective but always interesting and informative.
Quarterly Black Review
In these nearly 40 essays on migration, literature, and politics, novelist Phillips (A Distant Shore) revisits his youth in Leeds, recalls visits with other writers (e.g., Chinua Achebe, James Baldwin), recollects travels in disparate lands (Israel, France, Sierra Leone, Belgium), and meditates on the perspectives of the displacedexiles, refugees, immigrants. He reassesses writers as diverse as Lafcadio Hearn, Claude McKay, and Shusaku Endo, along with a number of British writers. While most essays are compelling, two groupings stand out: "Beginners" for what it shares about Phillips's writing process, and "Homeland Security," the book's most memorable section, which moves from a personal and very moving account of September 11 to a blistering account of the "discriminatory legislation enacted in [its] wake" and the "changes in the national mood" that threaten American pluralism. All of the essays, regardless of topic, reflect upon Phillips's "triple heritage""British, African diasporan, Caribbean"and brim with curiosity and cosmopolitanism.