Press Releases

Writer Caryl Phillips Reads from his New Book “Foreigners” Oct. 3

Date Released: 9/5/2007

Caryl Phillips, the award-winning author of eight novels and four books of essays, as well as plays, film and radio scripts and numerous articles will read from and talk about his new book Foreigners, as the guest speaker of the Royal and Shirley Durst Chair Lecture Series, October 3 at 7 PM in the Recital Hall of the Purchase College Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 914-251-6200 or visiting

Foreigners presents the stories of three black men whose tragic lives exemplify the place of the foreigner in English society: Francis Barber, “given” to the 18th century writer Samuel Johnson; Randolph Turpin, a world champion boxer who defeated Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951 but ended his life in debt and despair; and David Oluwale, a Nigerian stowaway who arrived in Leeds in 1949 and died at the hands of police in 1969. In discussing their stories, Mr. Phillips explores the central themes of his work: belonging, identity, diaspora and race.

Caryl Phillips was born in St. Kitts, grew up in Leeds, in northern England, and currently lives in New York. He has been a Professor of English at Yale University since 2005.

A prodigious traveler and prolific journalist, Phillips is the recipient of the Pen/Beyond Margins Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Lannan Literary Award, the James Tait Black Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Prize, and the Malcolm X Prize for Literature.  In 2000 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.