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The Writer and the World: Essays

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  165 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Spanning four decades and four continents, this magisterial volume brings together the essential shorter works of reflection and reportage by our most sensitive, literate, and undeceivable observer of the post-colonial world. In its pages V. S. Naipaul trains his relentless moral intelligence on societies from India to the United States and sees how each deals with the cha ...more
ebook, 544 pages
Published May 5th 2010 by Vintage (first published 2002)
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For decades, V.S. Naipaul has played the part of sassy gay friend to the Third World. (Never mind that he’s actually straight). He’ll come swishing into some post-colonial backwater, give the place the once over, and then start in with the home truths: your society is sick, your economy is a joke and your government is a horror show. And I don’t know what they told you at the store, but those jeans make your ass look ginormous.

Naipaul is a writer of many virtues, but cultural sensitivity is not
Deborah Schuff
Decades ago I was a member of the Book-of-the-Month Club. One month they featured V.S. Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas, and I bought it out of my usual insatiable curiosity for all things new and unknown. I no longer own the book nor remember many details about it, aside from my enjoyment of it, but I have never forgotten the title or the author. Mr. Naipul went on to write many other books, but I remember hearing about his "travel" books most.

At the last AAUW used book sale, I came across and
Mattias Appelgren
Naipaul travels and writes giving a whole lot of insight from all the corners of the world. Wherever he goes he seems to have a way of finding out the just how the past influences the current and what have gone wrong and what will go wrong. Whether in India, Trinidad, Ivory Coast or Argentina. Not always an easy read of course, I found myself struggling on some of the longer essays. Some of these essays are written a long time ago. Especially the ones in India that regards certain events and pol ...more
May 15, 2007 Afrodeity rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: i have no idea
Naipaul is ultimately more cynical and derisive than he is revealing, and this book is a prime example. At best, there some kind of enchantment you experience when he lines the words up just right, but more often you wonder why he bothers at all since everything is so screwed.

Perhaps my discontent with this work has to do with my understanding of (or hope for) the human condition. This book allows little of that really, except for the peculiar speech included at the end where he weighs in on the
Saurav Chakravorty
I confess the only Naipaul work I had read was A house for Mr. Biswas.

I started this book (a collection of essays) by reading the essays on Africa. However, his essays on on India had me hooked. Lovely prose and very interesting observation on India during the late 60s and 70s. The observations are so symptomatic that are as true today as they were when Indira Gandhi split the congress.

He does paint India in a poor light. Specifically his commentary on Indian civilization.

Still, this collectio
Luis Morales
Great book to give you a perpective on various parts of the world, in the recent past. I feel like I understand a bit about more about the world and neocolonialism after reading these essays. Also a great book to work on your vocab.... I had to look up so many words!!!!
Naipaul travels the world and gives us a slice of history along the way in his own
inimitable style
Kobe Bryant

Is there anything cooler than a short essay on Yamoussoukro by a bitter old man? No there isnt
Khateeb Sabil
Vintage Naipaul....The most brilliant writer of our times.
I read 7 essays.
V.S. Naipaul is a wonderful author. No one disguises his biases better. He simply records observations. Only at a few key points will he more than hint at a his personal response. Still his sensibility comes - and it is strange to observe that in spite of the subtlety one knows that he's not got a gentle edge.

This is a collection of essays I read and owned several years ago. I wanted to re-read his bits on Argentina and the Ivory Coast, but found him again so readable I went ahead and re-read e
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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 Miguel Street Half a Life In a Free State

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