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The Africa of his ancestry, the Caribbean of his birth, the Britain of his upbringing, and the United States where he now lives are the focal points of award-winning writer Caryl Phillips’ profound inquiry into evolving notions of home, identity, and belonging in an increasingly international society.
At once deeply reflective and coolly prescient, A New World Order charts the psychological frontiers of our ever-changing world. Through personal and literary encounters, Phillips probes the meaning of cultural dislocation, measuring the distinguishing features of our identities–geographic, racial, national, religious–against the amalgamating effects of globalization. In the work of writers such as V. S. Naipaul, James Baldwin, and Zadie Smith, cultural figures such as Steven Spielberg, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Marvin Gaye, and in his own experiences, Phillips detects the erosion of cultural boundaries and amasses startling and poignant insights on whether there can be an answer anymore to the question “Where are you from?” The result is an illuminating–and powerfully relevant–account of identity from an exceedingly perceptive citizen of the world.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A New World Order
The United States
Introduction: The Burden of Race
Native Son by Richard Wright
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Fatheralong by John Edgar Wideman
James Baldwin: The Lure of Hollywood
Introduction: Dispatches from Africa
The Fortunes of Wangrin by Amadou Hampaté Bâ
Nadine Gordimer: The Beat of History
J.M. Coetzee: Life and Times of John C.
The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness by Wole Soyinka
Introduction: The Gift of Displacement
St. Kitts: 19 September 1983
A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid
The Arkansas Testament by Derek Walcott
C.L.R. James: Mariner, Renegade and Castaway
Edouard Glissant: Promiscuities
V. S. Naipaul
Patrick Chamoiseau: Unmarooned
Following On: The Legacy of Lamming and Selvon
Introduction: A Little Luggage
Ignatius Sancho: A Black British Man of Letters
Linton Kwesi Johnson: Prophet in Another Land
The Pioneers: Fifty Years of Caribbean
Migration to Britain
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Leeds United, Life and Me
Conclusion: The High Anxiety of Belonging