Bénédicte Ledent, from the University of Liège, has compiled a complete bibliography of primary and secondary sources relating to Caryl Phillips. To access the bibliography, click here

Françoise Král, from the University of Caen Normandy, has compiled a bibliography for the SAES website.


A selective bibliography compiled by Vanessa Guignery (PDF file)


Primary Sources (British editions)


The Final Passage (London: Faber & Faber, 1985).

A State of Independence (London: Faber & Faber, 1986).

Higher Ground (London: Viking, 1989).

Cambridge (London: Bloomsbury, 1991).

Crossing the River (London: Bloomsbury, 1993).

The Nature of Blood (London: Faber & Faber, 1997).

A Distant Shore (London: Secker & Warburg, 2003).

Dancing in the Dark (London: Secker & Warburg, 2005).

In the Falling Snow (London: Harvill Secker, 2009).

The Lost Child (London: Oneworld, 2015).



The European Tribe (London: Faber & Faber, 1987; London: Picador, 1992, with a new foreword by the author).

Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging, ed. (London: Faber & Faber, 1997).

The Right Set, ed. (London: Faber & Faber, 1999).

The Atlantic Sound (London: Faber & Faber, 2000).

A New World Order: Selected Essays (London: Secker & Warburg, 2001).

Foreigners: Three English Lives (London: Harvill Secker, 2007).

Colour Me English (London: Harvill Secker, 2011).


Stage Plays

Strange Fruit (Ambergate: Amber Lane Press, 1981).

Where There Is Darkness (Ambergate: Amber Lane Press, 1982).

The Shelter (Oxford: Amber Lane Press, 1984).

Rough Crossings (London: Oberon, 2007).


* *  *

Secondary Sources

Books on Caryl Phillips

Boutros, Fatim, Facing Diasporic Trauma: Self-Representation in the Writings of John Hearne, Caryl Phillips, and Fred D'Aguiar (Leiden & Boston: Brill/Rodopi, Cross/Cultures 186, 2015).

Ledent, Bénédicte, Caryl Phillips (Manchester: Manchester University Press, Contemporary World Writers Series, 2002). Chapter 5: Crossing the River (p.107-134)

Ledent, Bénédicte & Daria Tunca, eds., Caryl Phillips: Writing in the Key of Life (Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2012).

Thomas, Helen, Caryl Phillips, Writers and their Work Series (London: Northcote, 2006). Crossing the River, p.39-53.  

Ward, Abigail, Caryl Phillips, David Dabydeen, and Fred D'Aguiar: Representations of Slavery (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011). Crossing the River, p.46-62.


Interviews about Crossing the River

'Crossing the River: Caryl Phillips Talks to Maya Jaggi', Wasafiri, 20 (Autumn 1994), pp. 25-29. Published in slightly different form in Writing Across Worlds: Contemporary Writers Talk, ed. by Susheila Nasta (London & New York: Routledge, 2004), pp. 113-124.

Schatteman, Renée T., ed., Conversations with Caryl Phillips (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2009).


A selection of articles and chapters on Crossing the River

Andindilile, Michael, '"We have lost sight of Africa": America, Europe and the Diaspora in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', Afroeuropa 3.1 (2009).

Ashford Carter, Tomeiko, 'Signifying (Non)Linguistic and Subliminal Spirituality: Caryl Phillips' Crossing the River', Ariel, 45.1&2 (January-April 2014), pp. 247-260. [on Project Muse]

Bartley, Rebekah, 'History Reinterpreted: A Postcolonial Approach to Caryl Phillips' Crossing the River', Watermark, 1 (Winter 2007), pp. 20-30.

Bewes, Timothy, 'Shame, Ventriloquy, and the Problem of the Cliche in Caryl Phillips', Cultural Critique, 63 (Spring 2006), pp. 33-60. [on Project Muse] A revised version of this article was also published in Bewes's The Event of Postcolonial Shame (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), pp. 49-72.

Birat, Kathie, '"Re-visionary Strategies": History and Fiction in the Novels of Caryl Phillips and Wilson Harris', in Theory and Literary Creation / Théorie et création littéraire, ed. by Jean-Pierre Durix (Dijon: Editions Universitaires de Dijon, 1999), pp. 21-31. Partly deals with Crossing the River.

Birat, Kathie, '"A Shameful Intercourse": Meaning and Signifying in Caryl Phillips's Novels of the Slave Trade', Actes du Colloque G.R.A.A.T./C.E.R.C.A “Réiventer le Réel”, textes réunis par Trevor Harris (Tours: Publications des Groupes de Recherches Anglo-Américaines de l'Université François Rabelais de Tours, 1999), pp. 33-47. Partly deals with Crossing the River

Birat, Kathie, 'Points of Entanglement: Language and Identity in the Fiction of Caryl Phillips and Patrick Chamoiseau', in Le monde caraïbe: défis et dynamiques - Tome 1. Visions identitaires, diasporas, configurations culturelles, ed. by Christian Lerat (Pessac: Maison des Sciences de l'Homme d'Aquitaine, 2005), pp. 141-155. Partly deals with Crossing the River.

Birat, Kathie, '"Neither 'written' nor 'spoken": The Ambiguities of Voice in the fiction of Caryl Phillips', in The Caribbean Writer as Warrior of the Imaginary / L'Ecrivain caribéen, guerrier de l'imaginaire, ed. by Kathleen Gyssels & Bénédicte Ledent (Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2008), pp. 287-306. Partly deals with Crossing the River.

Bonnici, Thomas, 'Diaspora in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River (1993) and A Distant Shore (2003)', Gragoatá, 17.2 (2005), pp. 63-86.

Bonnici, Thomas, 'Diaspora in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River (1993)', in Shared Waters: Soundings in Postcolonial Literatures, ed. by Stella Borg-Barthet (Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2009).

Boutros, Fatim, 'Bidirectional Revision: The Connection between Past and Present in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', in Caryl Phillips: Writing in the Key of Life, ed. by Bénédicte Ledent & Daria Tunca (Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2012), pp. 175-190.

Collier, Gordon, 'Serene Surface, Secret Depths? Joyce's Section in Crossing the River', in Postcolonial Knitting: The Art of Jacqueline Bardolph, ed. by Richard Corballis & André Viola (Palmerston North: School of English and Media Studies, Massey University & Nice: CRELA, Université de Nice & Sophia Antipolis, 2000), pp. 185-196.

Cuder-Dominguez, Pilar, 'Roots versus Routes in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River and Dionne Brand's At the Full and Change of the Moon', in Revisiting Slave Narratives/Les avatars contemporains des récits d'esclaves, texts collected by/textes réunis par Judith Misrahi-Barak (Montpellier: Les Carnets du Cerpac, n°2, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III, 2005), pp. 365-378.

Di Maio, Alessandra, '"Sinking Hopeful Roots into Difficult Soil": Caryl Phillips' Crossing the River', Routes of the Roots: Geography and Literature in the English-speaking Countries, ed. by Isabella Maria Zoppi (Rome: Bulzoni, 1998), pp. 443-458.

Di Maio, Alessandra, 'Diasporan Voices in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', in Multiculturalism and Hybridity in African Literatures, ed. by Hal Wylie & Bernth Lindfors (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2000), pp. 367-376.

Ferreira Ferreira, Geniane Diamante, 'A Perspectiva do Colonizador a Partir do Capítulo Crossing The River da Obra de Mesmo Título de Caryl Phillips', Revista Cesumar - Ciências Humanas e Sociais Aplicadas, 14.1 (January-June 2009), pp. 73-82.


Galván, Fernando, 'Between Othello and Equiano: Caryl Phillips's Subversive Rewritings',Postmodern Studies, 35.1 (August 2004), pp. 187-205. Also published in Refracting the Canonin Contemporary British Literature and Film, eds. Susana Onega & Christian Gutleben(Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2004), pp. 187-205.

Garvey, Johanna X. K., 'Passages to Identity: Re-membering the Diaspora in Marshall, Phillips, andCliff', in Black Imagination and the Middle Passage, eds. Maria Diedrich, Henry Louis Gates Jr.& Carl Pedersen (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 255-270. (p.260-63 on Crossing the River)

George, Gils. M. & T. Deivasigamani, 'Portrayal of the Scattered: Diasporic Reading of Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', Labyrinth: An International Refereed Journal of Postmodern Studies, 5.2 (April 2014), pp. 111-116.

Gonel, Tuba, 'Traumatic Memory, Diaspora and Caryl Phillips: The Nature of Blood, Higher Ground and Crossing the River', International Journal of Arts and Sciences, 4.1 (2011), pp. 219-230. [http://openaccesslibrary.org/images/ROM482_Tuba_Gonel.pdf] Also published in Scottish Journal of Arts, Social Sciences and Scientific Studies, 1.1 (May 2012), pp. 3-13. [http://www.scottishjournal.co.uk/paper/SJASS_Vol.1_No.1.pdf#page=3]

Goyal, Yogita, 'Theorizing Africa in Black Diaspora Studies: Caryl Phillips' Crossing the River', Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 12.1 (Spring 2003), pp. 5-38. [on Project Muse]

Ilona, Anthony, 'Crossing the River: a Chronicle of the Black Diaspora', Wasafiri, 22 (Autumn 1995), pp. 3-9.

Joannou, Maroula, '"Go West, Old Woman": The Radical Re-visioning of Slave History in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', in Slavery and the Cultures of Abolition: Essays Marking the Bicentennial of the British Abolition Act of 1807, ed. by Brycchan Carey & Peter J. Kitson (Cambridge: Brewer, 2007), pp. 195-213.

Julien, Claude, 'Surviving through a Pattern of Timeless Moments: A reading of Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', in Black Imagination and the Middle Passage, ed. by Maria Diedrich, Henry Louis Gates Jr. & Carl Pedersen (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 86-95.

Kowaleski-Wallace, Elizabeth, “Fictionalizing Slavery in the United Kingdom, 1990-2000”, in The British Slave Trade & Public Memory (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006) pp. 67-123. 

Ledent, Bénédicte, '"Overlapping Territories, Intertwined Histories": Cross-culturality in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 30.1 (1995), pp. 55-62. [http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/bitstream/2268/15530/1/Ledent_Phillips_JCL.pdf]

Ledent, Bénédicte, 'Remembering Slavery: History as Roots in the Fiction of Caryl Phillips and Fred D'Aguiar', in The Contact and The Culmination: Essays in Honour of Hena Maes-Jelinek, ed. by Marc Delrez & Bénédicte Ledent (Liège: L3, 1997), pp. 271-280. [http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/bitstream/2268/15659/1/Ledent_Slavery_Contact.pdf]

Low, Gail, '"A Chorus of Common Memory": Slavery and Redemption in Caryl Phillips's Cambridge and Crossing the River', Research in African Literatures, 29.4 (Winter 1998), pp. 122-140. Also published in The African Diaspora and Its Origins, ed. by Polly Rewt (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, in cooperation with Ohio State University, 1998). [available on JSTOR]

Mangrum, Khaliah, '"Like limbs from a tree": Home and the Homeland in Caryl Phillips' Crossing the River', The Mind's Eye (Spring 2007), pp. 73-81.

Mårdberg, Maria and Helena Wahlström, 'Parenthood in the African Diaspora: Caryl Phillips' Crossing the River', in Seeking the Self – Encountering the Other: Diasporic Narrative and the Ethics of Representation, ed. by Tuomas Huttunen, Kaisa Ilmonen, Janne Korkka & Elina Valovirta (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), pp. 291-310.

McLeod, John, 'Postcolonial Fictions of Adoption', Critical Survey, 18.2 (2006), pp. 45-55 (pp. 50-52: Crossing the River).

McLeod, John, 'English Somewheres: Caryl Phillips and the English North', in Postcolonial Spaces: The Politics of Place in Contemporary Culture, ed. by Andrew Teverson & Sara Upstone, with a foreword by Edward Soja (Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp. 14-27. (p.17-21: Crossing the River) 

Najar, Imen, 'Conrad's Kurtz in Heart of Darkness and Phillips's Nash in Crossing the River: A Discursive Approach', in Présence africaine en Europe et au-delà / African Presence in Europe and Beyond, ed. by Kathleen Gyssels & Bénédicte Ledent (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2010), pp. 265-278. [http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/handle/2268/74058]

Nowak, Helge, 'Significant Books from the West Indies and the Caribbean Diaspora from 1980 to the Present: Literary Round Table' (on Samuel Selvon, Moses Migrating, and Caryl Phillips, Crossing the River), in Anglistentag 1997 Giessen, ed. by Raimund Borgmeier et al. (Trier: WVT, 1998), pp. 218-222.

Pichler, Susanne, 'A Polyphony of Voices: Searching for Common History, Common Memory in Caryl Phillips's "Crossing the River" (1993)', Anglia 123.3 (2005), pp. 465-481.

Pichler, Susanne, 'Memory in Caryl Phillips's novel Crossing the River (1993)', Acta Scientiarum: Language and Culture, 33.1 (2011), pp. 1-12. [http://periodicos.uem.br/ojs/index.php/ActaSciLangCult/article/view/8830/8830A]

Rice Bellamy, Maria, 'Haunting the African Diaspora: Responsibility and Remaining in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', African American Review, 47.1 (2014), pp. 129-144. [on Project Muse]

Riemenschneider, Dieter, 'One Hundred Years of Darkness: "I am no longer of Monrovia, having relocated into the Heart of the Country": Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River (1993) writing back to Heart of Darkness (1902)', in Being/s in Transit: Travelling, Migration, Dislocation, ed. by Liselotte Glage (Amsterdam & Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 2000), pp. 83-92.

Shima, Alan, 'Reading Ethically: Teaching and Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', Moderna Språk, 101.2 (2007), pp. 108-114.

Shirgave, Uday P. & P.R. Shewale, 'Diaspora Consciousness in Caryl Phillips's Crossing the River', Critical Space, 2.2 (2014), pp. 147-154.

Ward, Abigail, 'An Outstretched Hand: Connection and Affiliation in Crossing the River', Moving Worlds, 7.1 (2007), pp. 20-32.

Warnes, Andrew, 'Enemies Within: Diaspora and Democracy in Crossing the River and A Distant Shore', Moving Worlds, 7.1 (2007), pp. 33-45.

White, Jeanna Fuston, 'Ocean Passage and the Presence of Absence: The Problem of Place in Four Contemporary Slave Narratives', Griot, 26.2 (Fall 2007), pp. 89-98. Partly deals with Crossing the River.