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I am not English I make a living teaching English I find work easily because I am a native speaker.But I am not English Oh you re English they say Well, no, not really I say I was born in Scotland.Both my parents are Scottish.So I am not English So you re Scottish they say Well, no, not really I say I left Scotland when I was three.I grew up in England.I was a visitor to Scotland So when you see your parentsThat s in England No, when my Dad retired they moved back to Scotland.I I am not English I make a living teaching English I find work easily because I am a native speaker.But I am not English Oh you re English they say Well, no, not really I say I was born in Scotland.Both my parents are Scottish.So I am not English So you re Scottish they say Well, no, not really I say I left Scotland when I was three.I grew up in England.I was a visitor to Scotland So when you see your parentsThat s in England No, when my Dad retired they moved back to Scotland.I visit them in a new housein a strange town.It s not the home we had together.There are no old friends of mine there So what are you they sayMy passport says I m BritishBut they can t spell my name.Will I still be Britishif Scotland votes yes When I speak German They say You re not from here.Are you Dutch When I lived in AustriaAnd spoke GermanThey said You re not from here.Are you German When I lived in ParisAnd spoke FrenchThey said You re not from here.Are you from the Jura When I visited TorontoThey said Oh you sound so British When I visit my parentsand speak to my cousinI sound so EnglishBut I am not English I enjoyed some essaysthan others. I liked this immensely I read one of Phillips novels a few years ago and enjoyed And of course, as I now know, he s not in fact Trevor s brother.Of the collection, most the essays touch upon the issue of belonging and identity There s a good review of a range of writers who,often than not, have left or were exiled from their home countries and wrote about the experience of living in a new world Two of the stand out essays were the critique of British writing in the 1950s, and the enc I liked this immensely I read one of Phillips novels a few years ago and enjoyed And of course, as I now know, he s not in fact Trevor s brother.Of the collection, most the essays touch upon the issue of belonging and identity There s a good review of a range of writers who,often than not, have left or were exiled from their home countries and wrote about the experience of living in a new world Two of the stand out essays were the critique of British writing in the 1950s, and the encounter with Chinua Achebe Of the former, Phillips rightly identifies a silence in English fiction and drama at the time of the Windrush generation, and the dramatic influx on immigration in the 1950s Given the dramatic changes in British society, why is it that such landmark plays books from the likes of John Osborne, and Kingsley Amis don t directly address this issue In response, Phillips reviews the work of Colin MacInnes one of the few British writers to think through and describe this issue Phillips meeting with Achebe was fascinating, and centres on Conrad s Heart of Darkness Ultimately Achebe finds Conrad to be a disappointment Whilst Conrad describes the folly of imperialism, Achebe finds a lack of accrediting humanity to the Africans in the novel Phillips challenges Achebe to identify a writer who does this, and Achebe comes up with the brilliant observation, that perhaps David Livingstone came closest as he describes his encounters with the Afrians he meets as infuriating This is aauthentic response than Conrad s, argues Achebe, because it acknowledges their humanity I ve not done justice to this encounter, but it is a great read A thought provoking, clear collection of very readable essays Which now prompts me to track down a fewof his novels There is so much I love about this collection And Caryl Phillips s very first essay, about his experience in New York City on September 11, 2001 is a singular thing just such a perfect piece of writing But there werethan a few moments, I am thinking specifically about his estimation of other great writers, Chinua Achebe and James Baldwin in particular, that felt like talking down to masters of the craft and it drove me crazy. This book gave me a new insight into Phillips and how his views study of the world migrations are reflected in his fiction My fav essays were o A Life in 10 Chapters this provides a glimpse into his growing years and how this affected his relationship with his familyo Strange Fruit After writing a play he titled Strange Fruit , he makes his first trip to the US and when one of the fathers of the young girls who died in the Birmingham church bombing is driving him to an event in AL and ex This book gave me a new insight into Phillips and how his views study of the world migrations are reflected in his fiction My fav essays were o A Life in 10 Chapters this provides a glimpse into his growing years and how this affected his relationship with his familyo Strange Fruit After writing a play he titled Strange Fruit , he makes his first trip to the US and when one of the fathers of the young girls who died in the Birmingham church bombing is driving him to an event in AL and explains the American meaning of strange fruit o Color Me English an essay as the only black in school and wanting to be included as English and then a Muslim boy enrolls in the school and he examines what other means and much further this boy is in being English o A Familiar Conversationo Ghana Border Crossingso Sierra Leon Distinct voices Based on his essay which discusses his relationship with Russell Banks I was on the fence about reading Bank s latest book Lost Memory of Skin I will now add the book to my tbr list I have two unread books of fiction by Phillips I will now be reading them with a deeper insight into the meaning of his writing In Britain, we learned just how deadly and destructive this violence can be during the IRA bombing campaign in the 1970s and 80s But we also learned that being dogmatic, and passing restrictive legislation, and not understanding our own history, only slows down the movement towards peace and our ability to both tolerate, and cherish, diversity in all its manifestations.Then, at the beginning of the 21st century, Americans started telling everyone how to deal with it and the British government In Britain, we learned just how deadly and destructive this violence can be during the IRA bombing campaign in the 1970s and 80s But we also learned that being dogmatic, and passing restrictive legislation, and not understanding our own history, only slows down the movement towards peace and our ability to both tolerate, and cherish, diversity in all its manifestations.Then, at the beginning of the 21st century, Americans started telling everyone how to deal with it and the British government took notice of them latter, the first thing we must remind ourselves of is the lesson that great fiction teaches us as we sink into character and plot and suspend our disbelief for a moment, they are us I believe passionately in the moral capacity of fiction to wrench us out of our ideological burrows and force us to engage with a world that is clumsily transforming itself, a world that is peopled with individuals we might otherwise never meet in our daily lives.Goodreads has convinced me this is, unfortunately, unusual All over this site, everywhere on the political spectrum and at every level of literature and intelligence, people are reviling characters because they are unlike themselves or are someone they wouldn t want to be friends with They are unwilling to find something of themselves in unreliable narrators Sometimes I wonder if that sort of ability is what differentiates those who write about books in the papers from most of those who are popular online reviewers I see a lothumanity in print than on here There are a few bloggers who also do an excellent job First, I took this book just because of the immigration topic, since I became a love immigrant not too long ago While living as a white person in Europe, it never occured to me how hard it might be to be different Caryl talks about so many different situations from all over the world, shows how Europe and US are two faced countries, where human rights are rarely applied to people of different cultures Even touches a very important topic of women who come from distant places and most of the ti First, I took this book just because of the immigration topic, since I became a love immigrant not too long ago While living as a white person in Europe, it never occured to me how hard it might be to be different Caryl talks about so many different situations from all over the world, shows how Europe and US are two faced countries, where human rights are rarely applied to people of different cultures Even touches a very important topic of women who come from distant places and most of the time are prostitution victims.My knowledge with this one book was so wildly and widely broadened, I appreciate so much that there are people like Caryl who care to write about such topics And his brilliant style makes the reading so pleasant and easy I ve stopped reading this book of essays because it s outdated talking about how black Americans aren t invited to prosper in America when for the last eight years Obama has been President I m also over this notion that I should feel shame for lamenting the loss of my own culture when others with ridiculous, medieval misogynistic religious beliefs are meant to be welcomed at every step of their journey Sorry I m not buying this argument any longer. (READ KINDLE) ⚟ Colour Me English µ Color Me English opens with an inspired story from his boyhood, a poignant account of a shared sense of isolation he felt with the first Muslim boy who joined his school Phillips then turns to his years living and teaching in the United States, including a moving account of the day the twin towers fell We follow him across Europe and through Africa while he grapples with making sense of colonial histories and contemporary migrations engaging with legendary African, African American, and international writers from James Baldwin and Richard Wright to Chinua Achebe and Ha Jin who have aspired to see themselves and their own societies clearlyA truly transnational reflection on race and culture in a post world, Color Me English is a stunning collection of writing that is at once timeless and urgent I bought this after hearing the author at last year s writers festival The essays are lively, but mainly for the US audience where Phillips now lives Good on politics of race.