In The Atlantic Sound Caryl Phillips explores the complex notion of what constitutes 'home'.
Seen through the historical prism of the Atlantic Slave trade, he undertakes a personal quest to come to terms with the dislocation and discontinuities that a diasporan history engenders in the soul of an individual. Philips journeys from the Caribbean to Britain by banana boat, repeating a journey he made to England as a child in the 1950s.
He then visits three pivotal cities: Liverpool, developed on the back of the slave trade, Elmina, on the west coast of Ghana, site of the most important slave fort in Africa; and Charleston in the American South, celebrated as the city where the Civil War began - not for being the city where fully one-third of African-Americans were landed and sold into bondage.
Finally, Phillips journeys to Israel where he encounters a community of two thousand African-Americans, whose thirty-year sojourn in the Negev desert leaves him once again contemplating the modern condition of diasporan displacement.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 240 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 01/11/2001
- Category: Social & cultural history
- ISBN: 9780099429968