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Extended Audio Sample Dancing in the Dark, by Caryl Phillips Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (71 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Caryl Phillips Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Caryl Phillips has received international acclaim for his works, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and membership in the Royal Society of Literature. Dancing in the Dark brilliantly re-creates the life of Bert Williams, the first black entertainer to achieve stardom in America. In 1896, when Bert decides to perform his stage routine in blackface, he is accused of reviling his race even as he becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Phillips is amazing at rendering the wrenching contradictions of ‘playing the coon’ as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois became prominent…The whole is suffused in Phillips’s brilliant, if here filigreed, light.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Phillips’ empathetic interpretation of the lives and dreams of four courageous individuals illuminates the thorny and persistent dilemmas of artists of color, who still must struggle to stay true to themselves as they pursue mainstream success…Phillips is in a league with Toni Morrison and V. S. Naipaul.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “His best work—cerebral, tender, masterful in its scope and vision.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Delicate, moving, dramatic…Phillips writes powerfully.” 

    Washington Post Book World

  • “An exquisitely moving novel…Only a writer as profoundly intuitive as Phillips could bring that shrouded history to light.” 

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Heartbreaking…[A] richly nuanced tone poem of a book.”

    Entertainment Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marcos | 11/20/2012

    " I'm really behind in reading the novels of this wonderful, prolific writer! What an amazing, bitter and sadly shifting novel of voices, thoughts and alienation about a world where entertaining becomes a means of degrading oneselves to insanity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by VeganMedusa | 1/29/2011

    " The jumping around in points of view (from person to person, as well as from 1st person to 3rd person to newspaper article) was too distracting for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cailin | 1/4/2011

    " I appreciate historical fiction and I'm sure the sadness that the main character experiences in this story was very real and wide spread during that time, but it was just too depressing for me to get anything thing else out of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Scott | 6/17/2009

    " A beautifully written - and fictionalized - glimpse into the life of Bert Williams. I need to re-read this one. "

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