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Collected Short Fiction

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eBook published by Everyman's Library (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
For the first time: the Nobel Prize winner’s stunning short fiction collected in one volume, with an introduction by the author.

Over the course of his distinguished career, V. S. Naipaul has written a remarkable array of short fiction that moves from Trinidad to London to Africa. Here are the stories from his Somerset Maugham Award–winning Miguel Street, in which he takes us into a derelict corner of Trinidad’s capital to meet, among others, Man-Man, who goes from running for public office to staging his own crucifixion. The tales in A Flag on the Island, meanwhile, roam from a Chinese bakery in Trinidad to a rooming house in London. And in the celebrated title story from the Booker Prize– winning In a Free State, an English couple traveling in an unnamed African country discover, under a veneer of civilization, a landscape of squalor and ethnic bloodletting.

No writer has rendered our postcolonial world more acutely or prophetically than V. S. Naipaul, or given its upheavals such a hauntingly human face.


From the Hardcover edition.
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For the first time: the Nobel Prize winner’s stunning short fiction collected in one volume, with an introduction by the author.

Over the course of his distinguished career, V. S. Naipaul has written a remarkable array of short fiction that moves from Trinidad to London to Africa. Here are the stories from his Somerset Maugham Award–winning Miguel Street, in which he takes us into a derelict corner of Trinidad’s capital to meet, among others, Man-Man, who goes from running for public office to staging his own crucifixion. The tales in A Flag on the Island, meanwhile, roam from a Chinese bakery in Trinidad to a rooming house in London. And in the celebrated title story from the Booker Prize– winning In a Free State, an English couple traveling in an unnamed African country discover, under a veneer of civilization, a landscape of squalor and ethnic bloodletting.

No writer has rendered our postcolonial world more acutely or prophetically than V. S. Naipaul, or given its upheavals such a hauntingly human face.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
eBook (464 pages)
Published: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Everyman's Library
ISBN: 9780307595614
Other books byV.S. Naipaul
  • Magic Seeds

    Magic Seeds
    Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s magnificent Magic Seeds continues the story of Willie Chandran, the perennially dissatisfied and self-destructively naive protagonist of his bestselling Half a Life. Having left a wife and a livelihood in Africa, Willie is persuaded to return to his native India to join an underground movement on behalf of its oppressed lower castes. Instead he finds himself in the company of dilettantes and psychopaths, relentlessly hunted by police and spurned by the people he means to liberate. But this is only one stop in a quest for authenticity that takes in all the fanaticism and folly of the postmodern era. Moving with dreamlike swiftness from guerrilla encampment to prison cell, from the squalor of rural India to the glut and moral desolation of 1980s London, Magic Seeds is a novel of oracular power, dazzling in its economy and unblinking in its observations.

    A Way in the World

    A Way in the World
    A Novel
    In his long-awaited, vastly innovative new novel, Naipaul, "one of literature's great travelers" (Los Angles Times), spans continents and centuries to create what is at once an autobiography and a fictional archaeology of colonialism. "Dickensian . . . a brilliant new prism through which to view (Naipaul's) life and work."--New York Times.

    Half a Life

    Half a Life
    A Novel
    In a narrative that moves with dreamlike swiftness from India to England to Africa, Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul has produced his finest novel to date, a bleakly resonant study of the fraudulent bargains that make up an identity. The son of a Brahmin ascetic and his lower-caste wife, Willie Chandran grows up sensing the hollowness at the core of his father's self-denial and vowing to live more authentically. That search takes him to the immigrant and literary bohemias of 1950s London, to a facile and unsatisfying career as a writer, and at last to a decaying Portugese colony in East Africa, where he finds a happiness he will then be compelled to betray. Brilliantly orchestrated, at once elegiac and devastating in its portraits of colonial grandeur and pretension, Half a Life represents the pinnacle of Naipaul's career.

    The Writer and the World

    The Writer and the World
    Essays
    Spanning four decades and four continents, this magisterial volume brings together the essential shorter works of reflection and reportage by our most sensitive, literate, and undeceivable observer of the post-colonial world. In its pages V. S. Naipaul trains his relentless moral intelligence on societies from India to the United States and sees how each deals with the challenges of modernity and the seductions of both the real and mythical past. Whether he is writing about a string of racial murders in Trinidad; the mad, corrupt reign of Mobutu in Zaire; Argentina under the generals; or Dallas during the 1984 Republican Convention, Naipaul combines intellectual playfulness with sorrow, indignation, and analysis so far-reaching that it approaches prophecy. The Writer and the World reminds us that he is in a class by himself.

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