Caryl Phillips

What is the first thing you wrote?  

A school essay when I was about seven.

Who do you write for?   


What was the first Caribbean book you read? 

Possibly, In the Castle of My Skin by George Lamming in 1981.

How many Caribbean writers from the 1940s and 50s could you name?  

Many. Selvon, Lamming, and Jan Carew made the biggest impression.

How many women?  

In general, a lot. Of the 40s and 50s, far fewer.

Which writer do you wish you knew more about?

Edgar Mittelholzer.

What is the earliest piece of Caribbean writing you have read? 

In English, John Jacob Thomas’s Froudacity.

Does the Caribbean’s literary past matter to you?  


Who are our most important writers today?  

Too many to mention.

What are you reading now?  

Kokoro by Natusme Soseki.