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Publishers WeeklyPhillips (Dancing in the Dark) is a master when it comes to issues of race, immigration and identity in modern England. In his latest, protagonist Keith Gordon, the child of West Indian immigrants, is going through a mid-life crisis. Separated from his white wife, whose family cut her off for marrying him, and fielding resentment from his 17-year-old son Laurie (wrestling with the stigma of his mixed background), Keith tries to make sense of his disintegrating life-also including a career on the skids and a troubled relationship with his own father. Phillips's latest is thoughtful, personal and engrossing, detailing the struggles of second-generation immigrants, thoroughly assimilated Britons who don't "look" British. While Keith can be frustratingly passive, his personal saga is challenging and emblematic, chronicling the changing racial makeup of modern England without ever crossing into stereotypical or maudlin territory.
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