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In: The Cross-Cultural Legacy
In: Matatu

Abstract

This essay focuses on the work of Caryl Phillips, a British author of Caribbean origin. It examines how his character-driven fiction has addressed masculinities over the years. The first part starts from the observation of a relative deficit in masculine visibility in Phillips’ fiction from The Final Passage (1985) to A Distant Shore (2003) and takes a closer look at these “invisible men”, analyzing what features they share and also examining the reasons, narrative and otherwise, behind their relative inconspicuousness. The second part of the essay concentrates on Phillips’ latest novel, In the Falling Snow (2009), which is concerned with a “native son” of a kind and his relationships with his own father. The prominent male presence in this book not only begs for a re-examination of the male figures in Phillips’ earlier fiction, it also calls into question the dichotomies that often permeate conventional approaches to gender.

Open Access
In: Configuring Masculinity in Theory and Literary Practice