Out on 20 February 2020

A Bend in the River

V. S. Naipaul

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20 February 2020
9781529014099
256 pages
Synopsis

With an introduction by author Yiyun Li.

Salim has lived most of his life on the east coast of Africa, living and working with his family. When he sets out to build a new life for himself, moving to an unnamed country in the heart of the continent he believes he is doing so to fulfil his duty as a man. He buys a small shop in a sleepy town, at a bend in the river, where he sells sundries to the locals.

First published in 1979, A Bend in the River is V. S. Naipaul’s vivid exploration of post-colonial Africa at the time of Independence. Serving as a microcosm of this changing world, his bend in the river is a scene of chaos, violent change, warring tribes, ignorance, isolation and poverty. And from this rich landscape emerges one of the author’s most potent works – a truly moving story of historical upheaval and social breakdown.

‘Naipaul has fashioned a work of intense imaginative force. It is a haunting creation, rich with incident and human bafflement, played out in an immense detail of landscape rendered with a poignant brilliance.’ Elizabeth Hardwick

‘Always a master of fictional landscape, Naipaul here shows, in his variety of human examples and in his search for underlying social causes, a Tolstoyan spirit’ John Updike

Brilliant and terrifying

Observer