An Area of Darkness

V. S. Naipaul

3.68 based on 10 ratings & 2 reviews on Goodreads.com
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03 September 2010
9780330522830
304 pages
Synopsis

The first book in V. S. Naipaul’s acclaimed Indian trilogy – with a preface by the author.

An Area of Darkness is V. S. Naipaul’s semi-autobiographical account – at once painful and hilarious, but always thoughtful and considered – of his first visit to India, the land of his forebears. He was twenty-nine years old; he stayed for a year. From the moment of his inauspicious arrival in Prohibition-dry Bombay, bearing whisky and cheap brandy, he experienced a cultural estrangement from the subcontinent. It became for him a land of myths, an area of darkness closing up behind him as he travelled . . .

The experience was not a pleasant one, but the pain the author suffered was creative rather than numbing, and engendered a masterful work of literature that provides a revelation both of India and of himself: a displaced person who paradoxically possesses a stronger sense of place than almost anyone.

‘His narrative skill is spectacular. One returns with pleasure to the slow hand-in-hand revelations of both India and himself’ The Times

His narrative skill is spectacular. One returns with pleasure to the slow hand-in-hand revelations of both India and himself.

The Times