Established writer, CARYL PHILLIPS was born in St.Kitts, West Indies and brought up in Leeds. For some years he divided his time between the United States and Britain, but currently he spends the greater part of the year in New York.


A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Professor of English at Yale University and holding honorary doctorates from a number of universities, Phillips’ love for learning is unmistakable. Together with his academic accomplishments, Phillips is a noted professor who has taught at numerous universities in countries including Barbados, Ghana, India, Singapore, Sweden, and the United States of America.

Phillips began writing shortly after leaving university and started as a playwright. However, his aim was always to write fiction and he published his first novel, The Final Passage, in 1985. Thereafter, writing for the stage began to play a secondary role in his writing life.


Phillips demonstrates his creative, literary flair in numerous award-winning books of non-fiction and fiction. Dancing in the Dark (2005) won the 2006 PEN/Beyond Margins Award, and A Distant Shore(2003) won the 2004 Commonwealth Writers Prize. Phillips’ other awards include the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Crossing the River (1993), which was also short-listed for the Booker Prize.


His writing career continues through his current regular contributions to newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. He has also written extensively for the stage, television and film. 


Phillips comments that the source of his writing inspiration “is the desire to tell stories about people whose stories are usually ignored…what we might call the 'losers' in history; those who are missing from the 'official' narrative”.


Bibliography (Selected)


In the Falling Snow, Harvill Secker, 2009

Foreigners: Three English Lives, Secker & Warburg, 2007

Dancing in the Dark, Secker & Warburg, 2005

A Distant Shore, Secker & Warburg, 2003

A New World Order: Selected Essays, Secker & Warburg, 2001

The Atlantic Sound, Faber and Faber, 2000

Extravagant Strangers, (editor), Faber and Faber, 1997

The Nature of Blood, Faber and Faber, 1997

Crossing the River, Bloomsbury, 1993

Playing Away, Faber and Faber, 1987

The European Tribe, Faber and Faber, 1987

The Final Passage, Faber and Faber, 1985