Sunday, April 06, 2008
Massie, Allan. "Living for Literature: Review of THE WORLD IS WHAT IT IS by Patrick French." LITERARY REVIEW (April 2008).
French, Patrick. The World is What It is: the Authorized Biography Of V. S. Naipaul. London: Picador, 2008. The bare outline of the life is well known: the poor childhood in Trinidad, the influence of his father (a journalist and writer of short stories), the scholarship to Oxford, the depression and resentments from which he suffered, the early struggles and efforts to be published, the critical success of his first novels (a success not matched by their sales), and the blossoming of his reputation until we eventually arrive at Sir Vidia Naipaul, winner of pretty well every literary prize going, including the Nobel, and the most distinguished living writer of English. Success of this sort takes more than talent. It is also an act of will, and Naipaul's . . . Read the whole review here: http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/massie_04_08.html.