V. S. Naipaul, A Materialist Reading

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This major reassessment of novelist V.S. Naipaul’s work argues that although Naipaul regards himself as “rootless … without a past, without ancestors,” his writing is in fact rooted in the literary and historical traditions of the Caribbean and can best be understood in the context of the larger field of postcolonial discourse. Covering in chronological order all of Naipaul’s books, Selwyn R. Cudjoe charts the author’s development from a position in which the tension between his Eastern and Western visions of the world created classics of world literature (A House for Mr. Biswas, The Mimic Men) to his progressive identification with “the dominant imperialist ideology and racist preoccupations of the age” (In a Free State, Guerrillas, A Bend in the River, Among the Believers). Cudjoe’s analysis is grounded in contemporary literary theory, an understanding of Hinduism, and a thorough knowledge of West Indian literature and history. – Back cover.

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