Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Reading and Writing: A Personal Account” as Want to Read:
Reading and Writing: A Personal Account
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Reading and Writing: A Personal Account

3.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  110 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
I was eleven, no more, when the wish came to me to be a writer; and then very soon it was a settled ambition. But for the young V. S. Naipaul, there was a great distance between the wish and its fulfillment. To become a writer, he would have to find ways of understanding three very different cultures: his family's half-remembered Indian homeland, the West Indian colonial s ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published February 28th 2000 by New York Review Books (first published 1968)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Reading and Writing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Reading and Writing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 224)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Angelique
A writer who does not boast about his life - I liked it. What I especially liked was his speech for getting the Nobel Prize for Literature, although he picked up the same topics he already referred to in his essays forming the autobiography.
V.S.Naipaul has a writing style that I think many people can identify with. Enjoy it - and don't hesitate to read it if you have no idea who Naipaul is. He'll tell you in here.
Jean-sylvain Brochu
Jan 12, 2015 Jean-sylvain Brochu rated it really liked it
L'ouvrage comporte trois segments: lisant et écrivant; l'écrivain et l'Inde, deux mondes; discours de réception du prix Nobel. Regard fascinant et éclairant sur la littérature par un écrivain singulier, originaire de Chaguanas dans la colonie anglaise de Trinidad. Une oeuvre à découvir.
Brittani Sonnenberg
A memoir that sheds light not only on the author's reading and writing life, but also on uncomfortable crawl spaces between cultures.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin
The downside is that this is a disorganized, meandering book that doesn't seem know whether it's an autobiographical recounting of Naipaul's early life or a somewhat cautionary tale for would be writers. And at only 64 pages, is there really any room for wandering?

Probably yes. The upside of this little volume is that the short sections that soar make up for the parts that ping pong around. Naipaul's vision is spot on when he writes about capturing your own past to create literature and also whe
...more
Chattynatty
Jan 24, 2015 Chattynatty rated it it was ok
I liked the first part but towards the end got lost in what he was trying to say- felt lost.
Rehan Abd Jamil
Sep 14, 2015 Rehan Abd Jamil rated it really liked it
A father's dream became a reality..
Ryan Chapman
May 04, 2009 Ryan Chapman rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction, essays
In interviews and in this slim collection, one overwhelmingly gets the sense that Naipaul would be insufferable in person. He seems incapable of seeing the world from anyone else's viewpoint. This is not a comment on his fiction - I'm aware most of my favorite novelists are jerks - but it made for poor reading here. Steer clear, friends, steer clear.
Cecilia
Oct 01, 2013 Cecilia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-writing
Charmerande essä om hur en författare föds ur ett blandat kulturarv. Hur han mödosamt hittar sin litterära röst.

"Ändå fortsatte jag att tänka på mig själv som författare. Det handlande knappast om verkliga ambitioner utan snarare om en sorts självuppfattning, en dröm om frihet, en idé om något ädelt."
CR
Aug 11, 2008 CR rated it it was amazing
Naipaul is so complex. He has a point of view. This book, for me, more than any other of his works, showed me why he writes as he does. And his discussion of the origin of the novel at the book's end is beautifully written.
Bartlett Morgan
Mar 28, 2012 Bartlett Morgan rated it really liked it
I was pleased by this collection of thoughts by Naipaul.
I have no desire to write but certainly I want to understand the factors at play when my favourite authors get down to business. This memoir aided that effort for me.
Ed
May 28, 2008 Ed rated it liked it
Naipaul is reportedly not a nice man, but these essays are quite nice.
Jennifer Gallagher
Jennifer Gallagher marked it as to-read
May 13, 2016
Sarah
Sarah rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2016
Thomas
Thomas marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2016
Pequeniosaltamontes
Pequeniosaltamontes rated it liked it
Mar 02, 2016
Anna Bee
Anna Bee marked it as to-read
Feb 29, 2016
Cris V.
Cris V. marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2016
David Jardine
David Jardine marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2016
Two Readers in Love
Two Readers in Love marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2016
Sean
Sean marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2016
Nicole
Nicole added it
Jan 20, 2016
Jenica
Jenica added it
Jan 17, 2016
Gauraa Shekhar
Gauraa Shekhar rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2016
Dyllan Mathurin
Dyllan Mathurin rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2015
Agnes Lindekrantz
Agnes Lindekrantz marked it as to-read
Dec 29, 2015
Justin
Justin marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2015
Leanne Martin-Pollock
Leanne Martin-Pollock rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2015
Paula Veselovschi
Paula Veselovschi rated it liked it
Oct 31, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin
  • World Within World: The Autobiography of Stephen Spender (Modern Library)
  • History of My Life, Volumes 3 & 4
  • Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers
  • You've Had Your Time: Second Part of the Confessions
  • The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul
  • Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey
  • Travels with Lizbeth: Three Years on the Road and on the Streets
  • Shocking Life
  • Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing
  • A Journey in Ladakh: Encounters with Buddhism
  • The Gate
  • Gathering Evidence
  • About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews
  • A Reader's Manifesto: An Attack on the Growing Pretentiousness in American Literary Prose
  • Description
  • In My Shoes: A Memoir
  • Images: My Life in Film
3989
Naipaul was born and raised in Trinidad, to which his grandfathers had emigrated from India as indentured servants. He is known for the wistfully comic early novels of Trinidad, the bleaker novels of a wider world remade by the passage of peoples, and the vigilant chronicles of his life and travels, all written in characteristic, widely admired, prose.

At 17, he won a Trinidad Government scholarshi
...more
More about V.S. Naipaul...

Share This Book