Novelist Caryl Phillips came from the Caribbean to the UK in 1958 and grew up in Leeds, Yorkshire - in a Britain where racism was openly expressed. His experiences of class bias as well as racial prejudice at Oxford University focused his desire to become a writer. He is the winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the James Tait Black Prize. Notable works include The Final Passage (1985), Crossing the River (1993) and Dancing in the Dark (2005). His latest work, Colour me English (2011), is a collection of essays he has written over the past 20 years about our sense of self and how we fit into society. He talks to Razia Iqbal about his experiences of class bias as well as racial prejudice at Oxford University. How did this shape his identity and focus his desire to become a writer?