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Return of the Native

Hugh Barnes, 7 March 1985

The Final Passage 
by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 205 pp., £8.95, February 1985, 0 571 13437 8
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Merle, and Other Stories 
by Paule Marshall.
Virago, 210 pp., £9.95, February 1985, 0 86068 665 5
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Heaven and Earth 
by Frederic Raphael.
Cape, 310 pp., £8.95, February 1985, 0 224 02294 6
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The Tenth Man 
by Graham Greene.
Bodley Head, 157 pp., £6.95, March 1985, 9780370308319
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... travelogues are few and far between in Caryl Phillips’s The Final Passage and the novels of Paule Marshall, but families uproot themselves. Their stories correspond, but not in time or place. Phillips’s travellers leave their small Caribbean island for Britain in the 1950s, when prospects were cheery. The white folks of the West had never had it ...

The Dignity of Merchants

Landeg White, 10 August 2000

In Search of Africa 
by Manthia Diawara.
Harvard, 288 pp., £17.50, December 1998, 0 674 44611 9
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... James Baldwin, I see Bob Marley, I see James Brown, I see C.L.R. James, I see Muhammad Ali, I see Paule Marshall, I see Malcolm X, I see Edwidge Danticat, I see Walter Mosley, I see Maryse Condé, I see myself. I am free to see a human being, a person, an individual. Diawara is not a black American. He was born in Guinea, just old enough to remember the ...

Pseudo-Couples

Fredric Jameson: Kenzaburo Oe, 20 November 2003

Somersault 
by Kenzaburo Oe, translated by Philip Gabriel.
Atlantic, 570 pp., £16.99, July 2003, 1 84354 080 0
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... humanist misreadings, such as guilt, or even the existential ones, such as the ‘life sore’ of Paule Marshall or Sartre’s ineradicable past act. Rather, the multiple permutations of this relationship end up revealing it as that sad and comic dramatic structure Beckett called the pseudo-couple, a vaudevillesque situation of neurotic dependency in ...

In the Box

Dale Peck, 6 February 1997

How Stella Got Her Groove Back 
by Terry McMillan.
Viking, 368 pp., £16, September 1996, 0 670 86990 2
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Push 
by Sapphire.
Secker, 142 pp., £7.99, September 1996, 0 436 20291 3
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The Autobiography of My Mother 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Vintage, 228 pp., £8.99, September 1996, 0 09 973841 4
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... when such writers as Nikki Giovanni, Toni Cade Bambara, Ntozake Shange, Sonia Sanchez and Paule Marshall helped redefine and expand the parameters of the mainstream in American publishing. This ‘middle period’ was, I think, capped in 1982 by the publication of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prizewinning The Color Purple. In that novel, Celie, the ...

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