Caryl Phillips

b. 1958

Caryl Phillips was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2000.

I’ve been a Fellow of the RSL since 2000, and have closely followed the admirable range of events that the RSL sponsors each year, particularly the Schools Outreach programme. I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the Angela Carter evening in 2012, not only because Angela was a good friend, but I was finally able to sign the book with Dickens’s pen.

I wrote The Lost Child because I grew up in the north of England at a time when parents spoke in hushed tones about the Moors Murders. Later on, as a reader and lover of the writings of the enigmatic Bronte sisters, the moors came to mean something entirely different to me. How, I wondered, might my two memories of this one landscape come together in a single novel? Writing the novel has been a long process of stitching together, and then unpicking, various narrative threads. But now my journey is complete.

I am now free to once again read for pleasure – or more correctly, re-read. Nearly twenty-five years after I first picked up the book, William Trevor’s Reading Turgenev continues to astonish and delight. Also, at this slightly unnerving time of publication, I’ve returned to Diana Athill’s Stet as a reminder of what great editing and book publishing used to be about.

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Articles by Caryl Phillips

Angela Carter, actually

Bidisha, Caryl Phillips and Susannah Clapp discuss Angela Carter's legacy.

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