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This is Phillips' acclaimed and intensely moving evocation of the African Diaspora. It begins in a year of failing crops, which forces a father to sell his children into slavery. Phillips's characters include a freed slave who journeys to Liberia as a missionary in the 1830's; a pioneer woman seeking refuge from the white man's justice on the Colorado frontier; and an African-American G.I. who falls in love with a white Englishwoman during World War II. Together these voices make up a "many-tongued chorus" of common memory--and one of the most stunning works of fiction ever to address the lives of black people severed from their homeland. Crossing the River follows these exiles across the river that separates continents and centuries.
"Uncommonly resourceful...an admirably complex and artfully wrought effort to renegotiate the staggering dimensions of the African diaspora...Crossing the River bears eloquently chastened testimony to the shattering of black lives."--The Boston Globe