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Dorothy is a retired schoolteacher who has recently moved to a housing estate in a small village. Solomon is a night-watchman, an immigrant from an unnamed country in Africa. Each is desperate for love. And yet each harbors secrets that may make attaining it impossible.
With breathtaking assurance and compassion, Caryl Phillips retraces the paths that lead Dorothy and Solomon to their meeting point: her failed marriage and ruinous obsession with a younger man, the horrors he witnessed as a soldier in his disintegrating native land, and the cruelty he encounters as a stranger in his new one. Intimate and panoramic, measured and shattering, A Distant Shore charts the oceanic expanses that separate people from their homes, their hearts, and their selves.
“Provocative. . . . His novels have a way of . . . staying with you long after you’ve closed the book.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Rich and deeply affecting. . . . 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
“A powerful contemporary fable about cultural clashes and individual yearnings . . . told with a cool restraint.” –The Baltimore Sun
“Compellingly readable. . . . Impossible to pull away from. . . . [Phillips] has demonstrated a remarkably fluent ability to inhabit characters whose perspectives on life differ radically from his.” –Los Angeles Times
“Astonishing. . . . Chilling. . . . A Distant Shore marks new heights in this author’s narrative accomplishments.” –The Miami Herald
“Suspenseful, atmospheric, adventurous.” –The Independent
“A devastatingly sad, powerful work of displacement, loneliness and racism.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“A page-savourer. . . . The plot is teased out with all the supple control of a superb craftsman in his prime. . . . A remarkable and penetrating novel.” –The Times (London)
“Graceful and dizzying. . . . A novel of failed grasps at redemption and horrors that reduce characters to madness, murder, and incoherent grief.” –The Christian Science Monitor
“A distillation of everything that makes Phillips’ work so impressive: lucid, deceptively simple prose combined with huge ideas and complex emotion. . . . Arguably his most accomplished work to date.” –Time Out (London)
“Intriguing. . . . Transcend[s] limitations of time and place. . . . [Phillips’] use of descriptive detail and subtle symbolism is achingly on point.” –Black Issues Book Review
“Just the sort of writing that reminds us how vital fiction can be.” –The Herald (Glasgow)
“Hums with ambition. . . . You can’t help but admire Phillips’ desire to explore . . . one of the great unexamined tragedies of our time.” –The Guardian