The Enigma of Arrival
With an introduction by Harvard professor and author Maya Jasanoff.
Taking its title from a work by the surrealist painter, Giorgio de Chirico, The Enigma of Arrival tells the story of a young Indian from the Caribbean arriving in post-imperial England and consciously, over many years, finding himself as a writer. It is the story of a journey, from one place to another, from the British colony of Trinidad to the ancient countryside of England, and from one state of mind to another, and is perhaps V. S. Naipaul’s most autobiographical work.
Finding depth and pathos in the smallest moments Naipaul also comprehends the bigger picture – watching as the old world is lost to the gradual but permanent changes wrought on the English landscape. It is a moving and beautiful novel told with great dignity, compassion, and candour.
‘Written with the expected beauty of style . . . Instead of diminishing life, Naipaul ennobles it’
Anthony Burgess, Observer
‘The conclusion is both heart-breaking and bracing: the only antidote to destruction – of dreams, of reality – is remembering. As eloquently as anyone now writing, Naipaul remembers.’