Heine Haus Literaturhaus Düsseldorf
The American author, James Baldwin (1924-1987) lived in Paris between 1948 and 1957. Thereafter, he divided his time between the United States, France and Turkey, before returning to France (this time to Provence) in 1971, where he lived until he died in 1987. Caryl Phillips interviewed him for the BBC, in St Paul de Vence, in 1983. For the next four years they remained friends, frequently seeing each other in France, Britain and the United States. During that first interview, he asked Baldwin about the ‘price’ of exile. Now, nearly forty years after Baldwin’s death, he reflects on Baldwin’s answer to that question, what it means to be a man of African origin in Europe, and how artists are always in danger of losing sight of themselves and their purpose.
In the context of the series “Translating the Archive.” With generous support by Kunststiftung NRW.
Caryl Phillips is a multiple award-winning novelist, playwright and nonfiction author. Born in St. Kitts, he grew up in the north of England and now lives in the USA. He is presently Professor of English at Yale University and an Honorary Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford University. Among his numerous works are such plays as Strange Fruit (1980), Where There is Darkness (1982) and The Shelter (1983), the radio play The Wasted Years (1984), adaptations for the large and small screen, and the novels: The Final Passage (1985), A State of Independence (1986), Higher Ground (1989), Cambridge (1991), Crossing the River (1993), The Nature of Blood (1997), A Distant Shore (2003), Dancing in the Dark (2005), Foreigners (2007), In the Falling Snow (2009), The Lost Child (2015), and A View of the Empire at Sunset (2018). His works of non-fiction include The European Tribe (1987), The Atlantic Sound (2000), A New World Order (2001), and Colour Me English (2011). He is the editor of two anthologies: Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging (1997) and The Right Set: An Anthology of Writing on Tennis (1999). He is the recipient of prestigious fellowships and the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Commonwealth Writers Prize, the PEN/Open Book Award and the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence (selection). His work has been translated into over a dozen languages.