The Lost Child

Pages: 272
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

The Lost Child

Caryl Phillips

One of our most acclaimed novelists adopts two disparate narrative voices and juxtaposes their stories to devastating effect in this damning critique of 1960s Britain

9781780747989 (3 Sep 2015)
RRP £8.99

The Book

Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child is a sweeping story of orphans and outcasts, haunted by the past and fighting to liberate themselves from it. At its centre is Monica Johnson, cut off from her parents after falling in love with a foreigner, and her bitter struggle to raise her sons in the shadow of the wild moors of the north of England. Intertwined with her modern narrative is the ragged childhood of Emily Brontë's Heathcliff, the anti-hero of Wuthering Heights and one of literature's most enigmatic lost boys.


Written in the tradition of Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and J.M. Coetzee's Foe, The Lost Child is a multifaceted, deeply original response to Emily Bronte's masterpiece.  A critically acclaimed and sublimely talented storyteller, Phillips recovers the mysteries of the past to illuminate the predicaments of the present, getting at the heart of alienation, exile, and family by transforming a classic into a profound story that is singularly its own.

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 272
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Caryl Phillips is the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including Dancing in the Dark, Colour Me English, Crossing the River, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and A Distant Shore, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.


'Phillips is a master of his prose...a writer adept at building atmosphere'.

- Tribune Magazine

'Every exchange matters, every word - spoken or unspoken - counts. That Phillips evokes this with such disquieting beauty and strength is a profound achievement.'

- The Tablet

‘Phillips writes with acute insight…heart-breaking'

- Independent

‘Phillips has found a way to enlist the strange energy of Emily Bronte's work and redirect it to powerful and surprising effect' 

- Times Literary Supplement

‘vividly re-created… fascinating. The atmosphere and language are intricately done, shifting with the decades and locales in a kind of linguistic odyssey'

- Herald

‘Powerful… affecting' 

- Spectator

'A literary gem… haunting' 

- Woman's Way

‘Bold… complex' 

- Sunday Times

‘The prose is as sleek as you would expect from a writer as accomplished as Phillips'

- Guardian

‘This novel weaves together a series of stories featuring a cast of outsiders and orphans preoccupied by the idea of home… Expertly written and artfully crafted'

- Daily Mail

‘Intricately layered…complex and compelling' 

- Independent

‘The account of Emily's father teaching her to shoot is very 

- Mail on Sunday