A State of Independence

A State of Independence When Bertram Francis returns to his native St Kitts after a twenty year sojourn in England the mangy flamboyant island that greets him is astonishingly unchanged Yet time and the bitternes of his is

  • Title: A State of Independence
  • Author: Caryl Phillips
  • ISBN: 9780020150800
  • Page: 302
  • Format: Paperback
  • When Bertram Francis returns to his native St Kitts after a twenty year sojourn in England, the mangy, flamboyant island that greets him is astonishingly unchanged Yet time and the bitternes of his island bound family and friends have made him a stranger among familiar faces and landsmarks A State of Independence recounts the first three days of Bertram s inauspicious hWhen Bertram Francis returns to his native St Kitts after a twenty year sojourn in England, the mangy, flamboyant island that greets him is astonishingly unchanged Yet time and the bitternes of his island bound family and friends have made him a stranger among familiar faces and landsmarks A State of Independence recounts the first three days of Bertram s inauspicious homecoming, which coincides with the island s liberation from British rule.

    One thought on “A State of Independence”

    1. Metaphors abound in this story. Many are unusual, but readily understandable. The descriptions are canny and succinct. And the ending left me wanting for much more. It is a returning home story that reminds you that yes you can go back home. But you are also reminded that such a return holds bitter-sweet moments that you must either overcome and come to terms with. This is not the prodigal son trope, not by a long shot.

    2. This book was very enlightening, to say the least. There is a constant question of identity and also national belonging, in which our main character (Bertram Francis) experiences throughout this novel. It is an eye opener and shows the fluidity of where/what/how we consider ourselves in terms of our national identity. This man leaves his home and returns 20 years later only to realise that all has changed, and that he can no longer consider it his 'home' but neither can he consider England his h [...]

    3. Betram Francis returns home to St Kitt's after 20 years, for independence day. He seems to expect people to be pleased to see him, to make a business using some savings and for some things to have changed. In fact everything and nothing has changed. Over the course of a couple of days he discovers all this and seems, perhaps with the assistance of a good few beers to come to peace with it all and where he's at.

    4. That feeling of being lost and out of touch with one's sense of belonging. Had this book for 14 years, lost it and bought another. Finally finished it. An interesting read, not much happens as the main protagonist is lost in himself, the amount of time he drinks beer, I need to arrange for an AA meeting. I enjoyed it, at least I've been to St Kits mentally.

    5. Phillips is a wordsmith. This little gem of a novel sparkles with sensory images. It transports the reader to St. Kitts--with all its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It imprints on the reader's mind the islanders' poverty and indomitable spirit on the eve of their independence from Britain.

    6. Very short and a little rough around the edges, a solid little story about a sense of place and whether or not ‘home’ actually exists. Worth a look.

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