In this richly descriptive and haunting narrative, Caryl Phillips chronicles a journey through modern-day Europe, his quest guided by a moral compass rather than a map. Seeking personal definition within the parameters of growing up black in Europe, he discovers that the natural loneliness and confusion inherent in long jorneys collides with the bigotry of the "European Tribe"-a global community of whites caught up in an unyielding, Eurocentric history.
Phillips deftly illustrates the scenes and characters he encounters, from Casablanca and Costa del Sol to Venice, Amsterdam, Oslo, and Moscow. He ultimately discovers that "Europe is blinded by her past, and does not understand the high price of her churches, art galleries, and history as the prison from which Europeans speak."
In the afterword to the Vintage edition, Phillips revisits the Europe he knew as a young man and offers fresh observations.
About Caryl Phillips
Caryl Phillips was born in St. Kitts, West Indies, and brought up in England. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction. His novel Dancing in the Dark won the 2006 PEN/Beyond Margins Award, and an earlier novel, A Distant Shore, won the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. His other awards include the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and currently lives in New York.
"A fascinating and topical subject....[Phillips] creates disturbingly powerful images of the cultural collision between black and white."- The New York Times Book Review
"Eye-opening...The European Tribe is one black man's anwser to de Tocqueville's classic, and may well become a classic of cultural exploration itself." --Los Angeles Times