A Writer Of Wrongs

A rare furrow of exasperation creases the brow of Caryl Phillips. It is the opening morning of a three-day writers' conference that Phillips has helped organize in Paris, and the rain is coming down in buckets. Worse, he has to shepherd a small pantheon of British and French authors from their hotel to the conference site, a converted factory in a mixed-race neighborhood four stops away on the Métro. But the eminences have lost their Métro tickets, so Phillips splashes off to hail some taxis. "It's like herding wild animals," he mutters. "Why is it that writers become helpless when somebody...

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