Friday, May 23, 2008

Wilson, A. N. "V. S. Naipaul, Master and Monster." TLS May 21, 2008.

French, Patrick. The World is What It is: the Authorized Biography Of V. S. Naipaul. London: Picador, 2008. They met in Oxford – he an impoverished scholarship boy from Trinidad, she a girl from Birmingham. More than most writers of his generation, V. S. Naipaul’s great subjects and his life experience were inextricably linked from the beginning. Doubly cut loose, first from Asia and then from the Caribbean (his forebears had come to work as agricultural labourers in the West Indies), Naipaul chronicled better than anyone the central twentieth-century phenomenon: global deracination. His grand theme is that we have all come adrift. With his gifts of observation, intuition, insight, and his mesmeric prose style, he was born to be one of the great writers of our time. Yet few could have predicted it. And this makes his wife Pat’s belief in him all the more remarkable: that, in 1954, when he had published nothing, and seemed to have no prospects, she could write: “I have absolute faith in your ultimate ability to do something great. I am convinced that we are going to be a distinguished couple.”. . . Read the rest here:

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