Like his earlier works, the novels Cambridge and Crossing the River, Caryl Phillips's The Nature of Blood is made up of several stories that take place over a large span of time. The result of this innovative technique is that themes, characters, and incidents resonate against one another, and history is seen not as a straight line but as a circle or a spiral. In one story, a Jewish man abandons his family to fight for the state of Israel. In another, the Moor Othello, another soldier who has left his family, comes to Venice. There, he visits the Jewish ghetto and finds himself astounded that "they should choose to live in this manner." Phillips's most daring feat in this provocative and thoughtful novel, however, may be to write in the first person about a Holocaust survivor just after World War II. In his most ambitious novel to date, Phillips creates a dazzling kaleidoscope of historical fiction, one that illuminates the dark legacy of Europe's obsession with race and blood. At the center of The Nature of Blood is a young woman, a Nazi death camp survivor, devastated by the loss of everyone she loves. Her story is interwoven with a cast of characters from both the present and past: her uncle Stephan, Othello the Moorish general, three Jews in 15th century Venice, and an Ethiopian Jew struggling for acceptance in contemporary Israel. Tracing these characters through disparate lands and centuries, Phillips creates an unforgettable group portrait of individuals overwhelmed by the force of European tribalism.
"An extraordinarily perceptive and intelligent novel, and a haunting one."--New York Times
|Book:||The Nature Of Blood|
|Number of Pages:||224|
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