In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips
September 2009
ISBN: 0307272567

Keith—born in the 1960s to immigrant West Indian parents, raised primarily by his white stepmother—is in his forties, a social worker heading a Race Equality unit in London whose life has come undone: separated from his wife of twenty years (her family “let her go” for marrying a black man); kept at arm’s length by his seventeen-year-old son; estranged from his father; accused of harassment by a coworker. And beneath it all, a desperate feeling that his work and he himself are no longer relevant.

Moving between past and present, the narrative uncovers the particulars of class, background, temperament, and desire that have brought Keith to this moment; and reveals how, often unwittingly, his wife, his son, and his father help him grasp the breadth of the changes that have occurred around him—and what those changes will require of him.