A Small Place in Between: Caryl Phillips's A State of Independence

Claude Julien
2017 Commonwealth Essays and Studies  
This article looks at Caryl Phillips's second novel, A State of Independence, from the perspective of the different forms of independence which might be detected in the title. Analysed in the light of the speech by Marcus Garvey quoted in the epigraph, it can be seen as a chronicle of the islanders' incapacity to live up to Garvey's ideal. From an existential point of view, the isolation of the characters like Bertram, the returning islander, who is unable to build an existence founded on
more » ... onships with others, can be seen as a metaphor for the island itself, caught between two times and two places, Great Britain and America, the colonial past and the era of American domination. Stories are like onions. You peel one skin and another grins up at you.
doi:10.4000/ces.4486 fatcat:jomsbtg7ozaydc2tjuvj2svuri