Caryl Phillips Writing Styles in Crossing the River

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Point of View

One of Caryl Phillips' great talents is the ability to quickly and credibly change point of view, and he does so in lightning fashion many times in Crossing the River. In two of the four stand-alone works ("The Pagan Coast" and "West") that join hands to make the whole, he begins with the omniscient point of view and then quickly segues into the points of view of his characters. In the other two, "Crossing the River" and "Somewhere in England," he tells his tales from the single point of view of a narrator. In one case, the narrator is a sea captain making entries in his ship's log, and in the other, the narrative takes the form of the diary of a young English woman during World War II.

"The Pagan Coast" is perhaps the best example of the author's skill in shifting narrative voice. Phillips...

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This section contains 851 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Crossing the River Study Guide
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