Stock Image

Half a Life

Naipaul, V. S.

2,990 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0330485164 / ISBN 13: 9780330485166
Published by Picador USA, London, 2001
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Hoffman Books, ABAA, IOBA (Columbus, OH, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since June 16, 1998

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 52.50 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 4.50 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

First Edition. This is a clean, fresh copy. Very Good in a very good dust jacket. ; 1 x 8.6 x 5.6 Inches; 228 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 68625

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Half a Life

Publisher: Picador USA, London

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

Half a Life finds the veteran Booker and Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul on familiar territory, blending autobiography and fiction in an exploration of the "half lives" of individuals brought up in the English colonies and educated in metropolitan cities.

Naipaul's protagonist is Willie Somerset Chandran, named after Somerset Maugham's encounter with Willie's father in the 1930s while traveling "to get material for a novel about spirituality." Willie travels to England for his education, where he becomes "part of the special, passing bohemian-immigrant life of London of the late 1950s." Willie soon realizes that his colonial background allows him to write short stories for well-meaning white liberals, and he begins "to understand that he was free to present himself as he wished" and that he could "remake himself and his past" through his writing. The effect is suffocating rather than liberating, and he marries a vaguely sketched "girl or young woman from an African country," who has read his one published book. Willie begins another "half life" in colonial Mozambique, where he soon tires of the domestic and sexual tedium of plantation life and flees to Germany, mournfully reflecting that "I have been hiding for too long."

This is classic Naipaul, with its effortless dissection of the damaging personal consequences of post-war decolonization, but its virtue seems its primary vice, as the novel feels like a conflation of several earlier Naipaul books, including The Mimic Men and the brilliant A Bend in the River. Consequently, some readers may well find that Half a Life reads more like half a novel. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We accept Mastercard and Visa, money order, paypal (ehoffbk@aol.com), and personal checks. Priority shipping is $6.50 per item in the continental U.S. unless otherwise noted. Foreign rates are actual. Returns privilege.
Emerson-Hoffman, LLC 4167 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43214, U.S.A.
EIN 20-0084909
Ed Hoffman, Member LLC
614-262-0059


Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. In recent years the United States Postal Service eliminated Surface or Economy shipping for international orders. As a result we can ship ONLY Airmail. If the book can fit in an Airmail envelope the charge is $15 and should arrive in 6-10 days. If the book is larger or needs the additional protection of a box the charge is between 20 and $65 for Airmail shipping. There are of course exceptions and in that case we will contact the customer regarding the shipping expenses.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal Bank Draft