Arguably his most popular novel to date, Crossing the River exemplifies the restlessness with which its author is concerned. The novel dramatises the experience of diasporic dislocation by evoking a black Atlantic contact zone at which Africa,
The allegorical qualities of Phillips's carefully crafted prose are most tellingly present in recent fiction, such as The Nature of Blood. This novel centres on the survivor of a Nazi death camp, an enigmatic figure whose tale is entangled with those of others in a narrative that ranges from fifteenth century
Finally, and as the historical range of his writing would seem to suggest, Phillips is a writer who refuses the idea that migration is merely a contemporary condition. In his brilliant edited collection, Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging, Phillips brings together 200 years of writing by 'outsiders' to Britain in a way that reveals the extent to which English literature has been 'shaped and influenced' by those beyond its shores for centuries.