From the British-West Indian novelist who is rapidly emerging as the bard of the African diaspora comes a haunting work about “the final passage”—the exodus of black West Indians from their impoverished islands to the uncertain opportunities of England. In her village of St. Patrick’s, Leila Preston has no prospects, a young son, and a husband, Michael, who seems to prefer the company of his mistress. So when her ailing mother travels to England for medical care, Leila decides to follow her.
As Caryl Phillips follows the Prestons’ outward voyage—and their bewildered attempt to find a home in a country whose rooming houses post signs announcing “No vacancies for coloureds”—he produces a tragicomic portrait of hope and dislocation. The Final Passage is a novel rich in language, acute in its grasp of character, and unforgettable in its vision of the colonial legacy.
“Like Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez, Phillips writes of times so heady and chaotic and of characters so compelling that time moves as if guided by the moon and dreams.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review