The Mimic Men

3.38 based on 729 ratings & 44 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 22.03.2012
ISBN: 9781447209430
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

WITH A NEW PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR

‘A Tolstoyan spirit . . . The so-called Third World has produced no more brilliant literary artist’ John Updike, New Yorker

Born of Indian heritage, raised in the British-dependent Caribbean island of Isabella, and educated in England, forty-year-old Ralph Singh has spent a lifetime struggling against the torment of cultural displacement. Now in exile from his native country, he has taken up residence at a quaint hotel in a London suburb, where he is writing his memoirs in an attempt to impose order on a chaotic existence. His memories lead him to recognize the cultural paradoxes and tainted fantasies of his colonial childhood and later life: his attempts to fit in at school, his short-lived marriage to an ostentatious white woman. But it is the return to Isabella and his subsequent immersion in the roiling political atmosphere of a newly self-governing nation – every kind of racial fantasy taking wing – that ultimately provide Singh with the necessary insight to discover the crux of his disillusionment.

‘Ambitious and successful . . . Extremely perceptive’ The Times

‘The sweep of Naipaul’s imagination, the fictional frame that expresses it, are in my view without equal today’ Elizabeth Hardwick, New York Times Book Review