A House for Mr Biswas

V. S. Naipaul

20 August 2020
720 pages


One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Heart-rending and darkly comic, V. S. Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas has been hailed as one of the twentieth century's finest novels, a classic that evokes a man’s quest for autonomy against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad.

Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library, a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold-foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition features an introduction by writer Teju Cole.

Mr Biswas has been told since the day of his birth that misfortune will follow him – and so it has. Meaning only to avoid punishment, he causes the death of his father and the dissolution of his family. Wanting simply to flirt with a beautiful woman, he ends up marrying her. But in spite of endless setbacks, Mr Biswas is determined to achieve independence, and so he begins the gruelling struggle to buy a home of his own.

A work of great comic power qualified with firm and unsentimental compassion
A marvellous prose epic that matches the best nineteenth-century novels
Why, at 20, did I fling A House for Mr Biswas across the room, where it sat unfinished for 10 years, only to pick it up at 30, devour it practically in one sitting, and think it as near to perfect as a book gets?