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The Lost Child: A Novel Hardcover – Mar 10 2015

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (March 10 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374191379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374191375
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #317,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Caryl Phillips is seen by many as the father of Afro-British fiction . . . At the heart of Phillips's book is the widespread (and continuing) abuse of women and children, and he writes sympathetically and powerfully about both . . . Phillips's point is clear: To survive and prosper, Britain's orphans and outcasts must find sustainable sources of rebellion--and one place they can reliably do so ist in art, whether it's the otherworldly allure of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust or the overtly political challenges of a novelist like Caryl Phillips himself.” ―Jeffery Renard Allen, The New York Times Book Review

“His riff on Emily Brontë's masterpiece is like a jazz improvisation: Phillips plucks the themes that resonate most deeply with him and transposes them into a polyphonic narrative . . . [He] employs his multilayered text as a counterpoint to Wuthering Heights, expanding the novel's horizons overseas and across centuries while honoring Brontë's vision of lives directed by ferocious internal imperatives as well as external conditions. His vision is less romantic, but just as sorrowful and moving.” ―Wendy Smith, The Boston Globe

“A biting commentary on empire and the vulnerability of family life. This is a devastating novel from one of our best writers.” ―Michael Magras, Bookpage

“With uncanny intimacy, eloquence, and compassion, Caryl Phillips stitches together past and present, the world of classic English literature and of hardsrcrabble, contemporary English life more movingly than ever before, speaking through every one of his characters with humbling depth and understanding. The simple, startling result is that, after The Lost Child, English literature looks richer, more mysterious and more human.” ―Pico Iyer

“Phillips explores the themes of displacement, not fitting in, and racism with subtlety and power . . . Yet unlike Brontë's tale of revenge, Phillips' book is suffused with forgiveness . . . [a] consummately literary, deeply human novel.” ―Heller McAlpin, Barnes & Noble Review

“Caryl Phillips has found a fascinating way of writing about the elusive parts of human experience that have to do with loss, absence, yearning, and the struggle of marginalized individuals to build a viable existence. Refracting the present through the past, life through literature, the sweetness and sadness of 1970's England through the austere grandeur of the Brontes' world, he creates a highly original narrative that is both startling and strangely moving.” ―James Lasdun

“*Starrred review* The thematic links between the modern story and Wuthering Heights only become clear over time, and--even then--they're too rich and subtle to work as simple allegory. Empire and race are among Phillips' concerns, but he also offers heartbreaking depictions of alienation and the fragility of human relationships . . . Gorgeously crafted and emotionally shattering.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Provocative . . . [Phillips's] novels have a way of staying with you long after you've closed the book.” ―The New York Times Book Review on A Distant Shore

About the Author

Caryl Phillips is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including Dancing in the Dark, Crossing the River, and Color Me English. His novel A Distant Shore won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and his other awards include a Lannan Foundation Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Britain's oldest literary award the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Phillips, a highly celebrated UK author, weaves an intricate tale of loneliness, madness, and abandonment against the bleak North Yorkshire countryside. The allusion to Bronte, in the book's descriptors, may create an unnecessary pretentiousness in the readers mind, but please don't let it be so as it is a missed opportunity to follow these desperate characters as they try to find their place in a society that is less than welcoming. They deserve to be heard. I am busy researching his other many books to read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written, the characters beautifully drawn but I found it slightly disappointing because their lives did not, (to me), connect and engage. Perhaps I just didn't get it but there seemed to be no relationship between some of the main characters. The Charlotte Bronte speculation was excellent and very believable but much too short.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e7a6558) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
HASH(0x9e80dfb4) out of 5 stars I have a problem with this book. June 18 2016
By A Rochester - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I don’t know about this book. Caryl Phillips can write, he writes beautifully. His story is about a troubled young girl. We follow her into adult hood and through the mess she makes of her life. I cannot figure whether she is mentally ill, depressed or emotionally frozen. Monica definitely makes poor decisions, but she does little to change her life. Her parents were not warm people but they provided for her in every way. I think the parents are not the cause of Monica’s craziness. She was brilliant and was admitted to an excellent university. I was really into Monica and all of her quirks, I especially enjoy novels with a phycological approach.
Then BAM, from nowhere there comes a chapter, as the book jacket explains, its a response to Emily Bronte’s masterpiece, “Wuthering Heights”. The jacket also says
Phillips deftly conjures up Heathcliff! WHAT? These characters are not Caryl Phillips to conjure. Leave them alone and stick with Monica and all of her problems. Poor Monica Is left hanging while Phillips conjures. Then again, (page 238) we leave Monica, its the end of her story …….but no solution. And the boy who represents Heathcliff pops back up. I do not like the unrelated chapters. I do not like this new trend in literature. An author should create his own characters and his own stories.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e80e240) out of 5 stars capturing the present and the past with his brilliant use of images which invoke the reader to strongly ... March 17 2015
By Hillary Short - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Once again Caryl Phillips captures his readers with his ability to write about lives marginalized by social norms in Britain during certain time spans. His prose draws in the reader, capturing the present and the past with his brilliant use of images which invoke the reader to strongly feel the shattering of lives through alienation.
HASH(0x9e80e4bc) out of 5 stars Insanity June 26 2016
By avid reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
A dark look into the mind of insanity and what the cause and effect that occur in the lives surrounding it. Well written but in a very confusing format. I can't say I enjoyed it..
HASH(0x9e80e7ec) out of 5 stars Get out your anti-depressants Jan. 15 2016
By Larry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I gave up half way through. I generally liked it but it seems relentlessly down-beat. Kept hoping for the first character to re-appear, or for SOMETHING to happen.
HASH(0x9e80e510) out of 5 stars Four Stars June 1 2015
By Gerald Hynes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Caryl Phillips is one of my favorite authors and "Lost Child" fortifies that position in my ranking hierarchy.

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