Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Literary Occasions: Essays” as Want to Read:
Literary Occasions: Essays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Literary Occasions: Essays

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul brings his signature gifts of observation, his ferocious impatience with received truths, and his masterfully condensed prose to these eleven essays on reading, writing, and identity—which have been brought together for the first time.
Here the subject is Naipaul’s literary evolution: the books that delighted him as a child; the books he wrote a
ebook, 240 pages
Published February 10th 2010 by Vintage (first published 2003)
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 Literary Occasions, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Literary Occasions

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 265)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
John Nelson
V.S. Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. In 2003, he published this collection of essays, which focus on the process by which he became a writer.

The essays are very well written, as one would expect. They reveal an unusual man: one who claims he wanted to be a writer from the time he was a small child, though he did not try to actually write anything when he was young. The author also claims he was not much of a reader when he was in school, and had no affinity for or understand
Amanda Patterson
I picked up this book with hesitation. A writer writing about himself and his writing? I wasn’t sure. And to make matters worse, I don’t like Naipul’s books. Would it be self-serving or egotistical? Or just plain dull?
It wasn’t.
Naipaul has pulled off something special with this slim volume. Every author going through the writing journey will see the self-doubt that accompanies that fierce drive to write, the wonder of the writing process and the acceptance of the talent and the acknowledgement o
James Igoe
From what I have read about him, Naipaul is a harsh person, so I approached this cautiously, but I found his prose thoroughly enjoyable, although I have currently shelved his fiction writing. I was interested in his perceptions as an outsider, an Indian immigrant in Trinidad, and then later as an immigrant to England on scholarship. In this I was completely gratified, as I felt it worked the empathy muscles extensively, expressed in clear prose.
Carlos Rubens
Sir Vidia Naipaul shares a very honest approach of his background Trinidad and reports on the efforts for discovering the real motivation for a mysterious wish of becoming a writer. For prospecting writers, enthusiasts of Naipaul in general and those who read "The Writer and the World" essays, this will be delightful reading indeed
Quân Khuê
"I didn’t feel competent as a reader until I was twenty-five."
At first I thought of Aristotle's "Poetics", then I did not know what to think as the author seemed to be indulging in a lot of self analysis. I guess his comments about being a colonial from a place of little or no consequence were insightful. I believe that he was overstepping with regard to some of his interpretations of the thoughts and actions of others. His seemingly never ending discussion of Indian authors certainly affirmed my ignorance. Perhaps a writer needs to dissect the work of oth ...more
Dec 08, 2007 Molly rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: colonials
Interesting to see him riff over and on how his childhood shaped his career, and interesting to learn about the way Trinidad's population was shaped, but a pretty poor excuse for a book. Maybe it is like Prince and he had some contract he was trying to finish.
Meh, what was this. Some forewords to other stuff. Appropriate academic or fanboy reading: it left me cold.
Cami Hamilton
May 28, 2011 Cami Hamilton is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
recommended by Doyald Young
Jon added it
Nov 13, 2014
Linus Vieira
Linus Vieira marked it as to-read
Nov 02, 2014
Vikash added it
Nov 02, 2014
Jean added it
Oct 24, 2014
Basuki Singh
Basuki Singh marked it as to-read
Oct 24, 2014
Marie Ortiz
Marie Ortiz marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2014
Justine marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2014
Peter added it
Aug 15, 2014
Tish Sundar
Tish Sundar marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2014
Daeshin Kim
Daeshin Kim marked it as to-read
Aug 08, 2014
Samarth Dixit
Samarth Dixit marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments
  • Through the Window: Seventeen Essays and a Short Story
  • The Best American Essays 2006
  • Essays in the Art of Writing
  • Life Sentences: Literary Judgments and Accounts
  • Why Read the Classics?
  • Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays
  • The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
  • The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age
  • Back to Wando Passo: A Novel
  • A Reader on Reading
  • As One Is: To Free the Mind from All Conditioning
  • Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home: Life on the Page
  • Whatever It Is, I Don’t Like It
  • Quarrel & Quandary: Essays
  • Moloch: or, This Gentile World
  • Presence: Stories
  • The End of an Error
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 about V.S. Naipaul...
A House for Mr Biswas A Bend in the River Half a Life Miguel Street In a Free State

Share This Book