In 1950, V. S. Naipaul travelled from Trinidad to England to take up a place at Oxford University. Over the next few years, letters passed back and forth between Naipaul and his family – particularly his beloved father Seepersad, but also his mother and siblings. The result is a fascinating chronicle of Naipaul’s time at university; the love of writing that he shared with his father and their mutual nurturing of literary ambition; the triumphs and depressions of Oxford life; and the travails of his family back at home.
This engrossing collection continues into the early years of V. S. Naipaul’s literary career, touching time and again on the craft of writing, and revealing the relationships and experiences that formed and influenced one of the greatest and most enigmatic literary figures of our age.
‘Rare and precious . . . if any modern writer was going to breathe a last gasp into the epistolary tradition, it was always likely to be V. S. Naipaul’ New Statesman
‘Remarkable’ Literary Review
‘A very moving book’ James Wood, London Review of Books
‘A fascinating psychological narrative’ The Times