Books by V.S. Naipaul

RELIGION
Released: Oct. 19, 2010

"A work more narrative than reflective, but Naipaul's prose remains smooth, subtle, often silvery."
In this minor but engaging work, the Nobel Prize winner (Magic Seeds, 2004, etc.) examines the supernatural and religious beliefs he discovered in six African nations. Read full book review >
A WRITER’S PEOPLE by V.S. Naipaul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2008

"Rich with surprises and erudition, informed by an alchemist's imagination."
Nobel Laureate Naipaul (Magic Seeds, 2004, etc.) looks back at the education, writers, books, countries, people and circumstances that have influenced him and his work. Read full book review >
MAGIC SEEDS by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 21, 2004

"This great writer's rhetorical and constructive mastery remain unimpaired. But he's still beating horses so long dead that the stench is becoming overpowering."
The 2001 Nobel winner continues the story of Willie Chandran (Half a Life, 2001), an Indian-born writer (and presumable authorial surrogate). Read full book review >
LITERARY OCCASIONS by V.S. Naipaul
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 7, 2003

"Naipaul is still Naipaul. But he isn't especially well served by a very uneven volume that really seems to have been hastily assembled rather than carefully edited."
This miscellany of essays and reviews is a pendant to the 2001 Nobel laureate's recent Between Father and Son: Family Letters (2000) and The Writer and the World (2002). Read full book review >
THE WRITER AND THE WORLD by V.S. Naipaul
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Aug. 17, 2002

"A welcome summing-up of a distinguished journalistic career that matches Naipaul's accomplishments as a novelist."
Last year's Nobel laureate in literature gathers various nonfiction reports and reflections. Read full book review >
HALF A LIFE by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 24, 2001

"Hermetic, self-absorbed, and not at all above peevishness—and consistently fascinating by virtue of its potent rhetorical and logical starkness. The work of a master who has rarely, if ever, written better."
Naipaul's first novel in six years is another installment in the extended fictional autobiography begun with The Enigma of Arrival (1993) and A Way in the World (1994). Read full book review >
BETWEEN FATHER AND SON by V.S. Naipaul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 7, 2000

This spirited, humane collection of letters from Naipaul's (Beyond Belief, 1998; etc.) second decade of life gathers the triangular exchanges between the young Oxford student, his father in Trinidad, and his sister, Kamla, in India—and records the initiations of family death and authorial triumph. Read full book review >

RELIGION
Released: June 1, 1998

The famous novelist follows up on a travel narrative he published in 1981, Among the Believers, that examined the practice and revolutionary tendencies of Islam in Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Iran. Read full book review >

A WAY IN THE WORLD by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 25, 1994

"By individualizing the colonial and postcolonial experience, Naipaul reveals its human roots: the restless search for identity, for a sense of completion, that drove conquerors and conquered alike — that, as Naipaul tells us, drove him to become a writer."
This work of "fiction" from Naipaul (The Enigma of Arrival, 1993, etc.) is really a label-defying tapestry of elements, a fascinating, closely woven blend of history, character study, and autobiography. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1990

A nightmare of crowds, fumes, and restless anger arises from the pages of this disturbing work—dour and long-winded perhaps, but ultimately eye-opening and perceptive. Read full book review >

A TURN IN THE SOUTH by V.S. Naipaul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 1988

"Naipaul uses both the alien nature of what he sees and the resonances it creates with his own past in Trinidad to etch his impressions subtly and deeply: a powerful, permanent portrait of a unique culture."
A revealing, disturbing, elegiac journey with Naipaul (Finding the Center: Two Narratives, 1984; etc.) as he shows us America's Deep South through his own eyes—and southerners as they see themselves. Read full book review >
THE ENIGMA OF ARRIVAL by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 19, 1987

"A difficult book in many ways, without flash or titillation—but maybe Naipaul's best work since In a Free State (1971) and unique among literary memoirs."
A book utterly unlike recent Naipaul: called a novel but in more ways an autobiography—and in more ways than that a brilliant tracing of a writer's (or of one as candid and un-self-consoling as is Naipaul) journey from opinion into knowledge and then into the ethical sovereignty of language. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 24, 1984

Though some of his early fiction is autobiographical, Naipual seems uncomfortable when writing about himself—and the first of the two pieces here, "Prologue to an Autobiography," is a circuitous account of "my literary beginnings and the imaginative promptings of my many-sided background." Read full book review >
AMONG THE BELIEVERS by V.S. Naipaul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 19, 1981

"But whether or not one accepts Naipaul's final judgment in its entirety (the leftist Behzads will multiply, he foresees), the journey proceeds on many challenging, absorbing levels."
Naipaul traveled from Iran to Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and back in 1979-80, seeking the meaning of "Islamization"—an exceptional writer/observer/commentator intersecting with an epic anti-intellectual, anti-modernist upheaval. Read full book review >
Released: March 26, 1980

"A strong presence, a powerful collection."
Naipaul on the prowl: three stinging pieces on the "unreal world of imitation"—in Trinidad, Argentina, and the Congo—and a capstone essay on Conrad. Read full book review >
A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 16, 1979

"This should have been an essay, perhaps, and one or two short stories; as a novel, it's listless—as a framework for ideas, it's never less than provocative."
INDIA by V.S. Naipaul
HISTORY
Released: June 10, 1977

"Readers would be well advised to take his stimulating appraisal with the morning papers."
Far from being undercut by the new Indian elections, Naipaul has in essence overtaken events. Read full book review >
GUERRILLAS by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1975

"No easy answers for Naipaul: just "hints of the failure and shoddiness to come" in a social novel that will define for generations to come the terms of the devolution of Mistah Kurz's property."
While colonials and nationalists go on fiddling and proselytizing, V. S. Naipaul illuminates lite millennium which is here. Read full book review >
OVERCROWDED BARRACOON by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 27, 1973

"The attraction, rather, is simply that Naipaul is Naipaul."
You don't read Naipaul — you listen to him. Read full book review >
IN A FREE STATE by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 1971

"The travel journal excerpts seem an irrelevant and slightly arbitrary "frame" for stories lost in the never-neverland between allegory and reality, which don't quite explode with the momentous themes they always seem on the verge of revealing."
A book of three novellas of similar theme strung between two excerpts from the author's travel journal, whose failures are similar to those of its exiled characters — expatriates in countries where the language is never known quite well enough, where customs are followed rather than understood. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 15, 1970

"Dense and demanding reading, certainly for those not predisposed, Naipaul's bipartite study is more important (especially for an English audience) than its locus as a substantial inquiry and indictment."
Novelist Naipaul, his narrative talent not altogether muffled by facts (here a heavy implementation of secondary source materials) and understatement, uses two incidents three centuries apart to tell the story of the "Ghost Province" of the island of Trinidad and more largely that of the frustration and futility of the colonial experience. Read full book review >
A FLAG ON THE ISLAND by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 11, 1968

"While complete, the novella remains essentially the basis for a more extended work, the book a supplementary expression of Mr. Naipaul's distinctive outlook."
A clutch of short stories and one longer (circa ninety pages) novella from the author of A House for Mr. Biswas and, most recently, The Mimic Men. Mr. Naipaul's settings: Trinidad and London, his characters, a melange of individuals, encompassing Cockneys, Caribbean natives, Hindus gone Christian. Read full book review >
THE MIMIC MEN by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1967

"A subtle, rather alien study of an emerging character and society in which the interest is demarcated by its subject, by an author who has received consistent critical consideration (A House for Mr. Biswas, etc.)."
Naipaul's style is as distinctive as a fingerprint. Read full book review >
MR. STONE AND THE KNIGHTS COMPANION by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 15, 1963

"Effective and a little over-poignant, but Mr. Stone is not alone."
Mr. Stone, at 62, is a Prufrockian bachelor waning away in the even tenor of his days. Read full book review >
A HOUSE FOR MR. BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1962

"MPSLUGMISTER Naipaul, highly acclaimed for his previous novels, has written another good book."
This is the chronicle of Mohun Biswas. Read full book review >