In Higher Ground, Caryl Phillips presents three characters separated by time and distance but united by the profound sympathy he has for their humanity.
In the first story, a young West African is oppressed by the shadow of slavery; in the second an African-American fights to survive solitary confinement without sacrificing his integrity; in the third a Polish refugee struggles to ward off the increasing isolation of a life in exile.
The second story in particular is probably the best thing Phillips has ever done
Remarkable... every page of Phillips writing is convincing, a frightful part of our collective consciousness
Higher Ground is about the destruction of lives, about damage done in one generation being passed on to another. Phillips' book has an urgency and intensity which demands that you read more... to take account of what the voices he has imagined have to say
Caryl Phillips has proved himself among the best and most productive writers of his generation
The understated relation between the three parts is haunting and the whole is a work of total conviction