In Africa, a man recounts his days within the grinding machinery of the slave trade. Though spared manacles and a hellish ocean crossing by assisting in the degrading business, he is forced finallty to confront an inescapable, vicious paradox - in the eyes of both his masters and his own people he is a pariah. n America, Rudi Williams serves life imprisonment in a Southern jail, brutalised by his guards and isolated from his fellow inmates. Through his letters he writes home to explain himself, and to educate his family in the radical politics of the emerging Black Movement, we come to know a young man whose refusal to bow to the system not only upholds the remnants of his dignity but also seals his fate. n Europe, where the wounds of war are still open, a woman finds that she cannot, after all, to escape the ghetto. For in England, as formerly in Poland, the world outside is hostile , while inside, in her heart, her life is one of stifling fear and dreadful seclusion.
Caryl Phillips was born in St Kitts and now lives in London and New York. He has written for television, radio, theatre and cinema and is the author of three works of non-fiction and seven novels. Crossing the River was shortlisted for the 1993 Booker Prize and he has won the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, as well as being named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 1992 and one of the Best of Young British Writers 1993.