A Writer's People: Ways of Looking and Feeling
ISBN 10: 0307396940 / 0-307-39694-0
ISBN 13: 9780307396945
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Publication Date: 2009
In his first book of non-fiction since 2003, V.S. Naipaul gives us an eloquent, candid, wide-ranging narrative that delves into the sometimes inadvertent process of creative and intellectual assimilation.
Born in Trinidad of Indian descent, a resident of England for his entire adult life, and a prodigious traveller, Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul has always faced the challenges of “fitting one civilisation to another.” In A Writer’s People, he discusses the writers to whom he was exposed early on, Derek Walcott, Flaubert and his own father among them; how Anthony Powell and Francis Wyndham influenced his first encounters with literary culture; what we have retained–and forgotten–of the world portrayed in Caesar’s The Gallic War and Virgil’s Aeneid; how the writings of Gandhi, Nehru and other Indian writers both reveal and conceal the authors and their nation. And he brings the same scrutiny to bear on his own life: his years in Trinidad; the gaps in his family history; the “private India” kept alive through story, ritual, religion and culture; his ever-evolving reaction to the more complicated and demanding true India he would encounter for the first time when he was thirty.
Part meditation, part remembrance, as elegant as it is revelatory, A Writer’s People allows us privileged insight–full of incident, humour and feeling–into the mind of one of our greatest writers.
“He brings to non-fiction an extraordinary capacity for making art out of lucid thought. . . . I can no longer imagine the world without Naipaul’s writing.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
From the Hardcover edition.
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