Abstract: Surprisingly few accounts have directly focused on the impact of sport on Caryl Phillips' work or even his own writings on the meanings of sport. In this essay I seek to rectify this imbalance. I examine Phillips' significant contributions to understanding sport, particularly his screenplay Playing Away and his essays on football, and trace the importance of sport to his own sense of belonging. I argue that, despite the neglect of his sportswriting by most critics, such excursions onto the playing fields are far from marginal to his intellectual and literary formation. I suggest that reclaiming Phillips as a "sportswriter" reveals how sport is central to his understandings of (national) belonging, (racial and class) identification, and (social) rejection and provides a useful analytical lens through which to better understand his reflections on diaspora and "home." In this regard, I draw out comparisons between Phillips and that other great Caribbean "man of letters," C. L. R. James for whom sport, and in particular cricket, provided a window onto the world. I conclude by arguing that Phillips be understood as a critical sportswriter who increases our understanding of the cultural politics of play and sport and thus expands and exceeds the genre of sportswriting.


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pp. 129-157
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