In a Free State

V. S. Naipaul

2018 Nominee

Golden Man Booker Prize

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20 August 2020
9781529013030
304 pages
Synopsis

V. S. Naipaul’s Booker Prize winning novel about displacement, the yearning for the good place in someone else’s land and the attendant heartache.

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 is introduced by acclaimed author, Robert McCrum.

In a Free State tells the story first of an Indian servant in Washington, who becomes an American citizen but feels displaced. Then of a disturbed Asian West Indian in London who, in jail for murder, has never really known where he is. Then the central novel moves to a fictional African country. There, the central characters have to make the long drive to the safety of their compound. By the end of this drive we know everything about the English characters, the African country and the Idi Amin-like future awaiting it.

A book of such lucid complexity and such genuine insight, so deft and deep, that it somehow manages to agitate, charm, amuse and excuse the reader all at the same pitch of experience

Dennis Potter, The Times

Naipaul’s travel writing is perhaps the most important body of work of its kind in the second half of the century

Martin Amis