Title: The Mystic Masseur
Publication Date: 1959
Book Condition: Very Good. No Dustjacket
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1959. Vanguard. 1st American Edition. Very Good. No Dustjacket. 24. 215 pages. hardcover. keywords: August 17. inventory # 22023. FROM THE PUBLISHER - Here is the astringent wit of an Aubrey Mennen turned loose in the rich landscape of a Caribbean isle. V. S. Naipaul is an extraordinary storyteller - a voice from Trinidad of today, as contemporary and exciting as Calypso - and in THE MYSTIC MASSEUR he has created one of the most amusing and fascinating characters in contemporary fiction, Ganesh Rasumair. If Ganesh had not been so unappreciated as a schoolteacher, he would never have become a masseur. If he had not lacked talent as an ordinary masseur, he would never have blossomed into a mystic one; and, of course, if he had not lived in Trinidad, at first an obscure member and finally an ornament of the Hindu community there, none of the things that happened to him would have happened in quite that way, for Trinidad, seen with the eye of humor, is a most surprising place. This is a story of success: a success that resulted, or so it seems, from inspired detachment. Achievement was not something at which Ganesh aimed but something that overtook him in oblique and unexpected ways, often appearing at first sight to be a setback but always advancing his career. Mr. Naipaul, who himself comes of an Indian family settled in Trinidad, writes with delicate precision and keeps a poker face. He occasionally permits himself a raised eyebrow and a look of wonder at the charming absurdity of human beings, but it is his reader, not he, who laughs aloud. ‘A delightful book. bubbles and sparkles with life and gaiety. Wonderfully deft. Over every inch of Mr. Naipaul’s pages flickers the gleam of his fun - a fun as light and acute and affectionate as is his view of human nature.’ - From the Introduction by LORD DAVID CECIL. The best job of its kind since Joyce Cary looked through the wambly brown eyes of Mister Johnson.’ - TIME Magazine. Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, KB, TC (born August 17, 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago), better known as V. S. Naipaul, is a Trinidadian-born British writer of Indo-Trinidadian descent, currently resident in Wiltshire. Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990. He is the son, older brother, uncle, and cousin of published authors Seepersad Naipaul, Shiva Naipaul, Neil Bissoondath, and Vahni Capildeo, respectively. His current wife is Nadira Naipaul, a former journalist. In 1971, Naipaul became the first person of Indian origin to win a Booker Prize for his book In a Free State. In awarding Naipaul the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, the Swedish Academy praised his work ‘for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.’ The Committee added, ‘Naipaul is a modern philosophe carrying on the tradition that started originally with Lettres persanes and Candide. In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, he transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony.’ The Committee also noted Naipaul’s affinity with the Polish author of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad. His fiction and especially his travel writing have been criticised for their allegedly unsympathetic portrayal of the Third World. Edward Said, for example, has argued that he ‘allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution’, promoting ‘colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies’.This perspective is most salient in The Middle Passage, which Naipaul composed after returning to the Caribbean after ten years of self-exile in England, and An Area of Darkness, an arguably stark condemnation on his ancestral homeland of India. His works have become required reading in many schools within the Third World. Among English-speaking countries, Naipaul’s following is notably stronger in the United Kingdom than it is. Bookseller Inventory # 22023
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