India by V. S. Naipaul
A Million Mutinies Now (Vintage International)

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New York Times Notable Book

Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s impassioned and prescient travelogue of his journeys through his ancestral homeland, with a new preface by the author.
Arising out of Naipaul’s lifelong obsession and passion for a country that is at once his and totally alien, India: A Million Mutinies Now relates the stories of many of the people he met traveling there more than fifty years ago. He explores how they have been steered by the innumerable frictions present in Indian society—the contradictions and compromises of religious faith, the whim and chaos of random political forces. This book represents Naipaul’s last word on his homeland, complementing his two other India travelogues, An Area of Darkness and India: A Wounded Civilization.

About V. S. Naipaul

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Born in Trinidad of Hindu parents, V. S. Naipaul was educated at Oxford University and has lived in Great Britain since 1950. With an exile's sensibility, Naipaul's writing is concerned with both the West Indies of his childhood and his strong identification with India. It focuses on personal and political freedom, the function of the writer and the nature of sexuality, and is characterized by clarity, subtlety, and detached irony of tone. The novel, Miguel Street (1959) describes the aberrant lives of a mean street in Port of Spain, Trinidad. A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), his most well-known work, solidified his reputation as a novelist. It tells the tragicomic story of the search for independence and identity of a Brahmin Indian living in Trinidad. Naipaul's work, even when he appears to be analyzing a picturesque character, is really an analysis of the entire society of Trinidad. The Middle Passage (1962) extends this analysis of the social order to other areas of the West Indies including Surinam, Martinique, Jamaica, and Guyana and finds that "the present character of the regions he visited express their history as colonial territories built on slave labor." Naipaul's work also deals with other parts of the world as well. In An Area of Darkness (1964), he expresses with sympathy and insight his observations on a trip to India, where he saw the loftiest of human values contrasted with the meanest physical suffering. His novel, A Bend in the River (1979) set in a new African nation, depicts the difficulties ordinary people face during times of political upheaval. A Turn in the South (1989) is a sensitive portrayal of the American South. Naipaul's works have elicited polarized responses, yet he is regarded by many as one of the best writers of our time, and he is a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he finally won on October 11, 2001.
Published March 22, 2011 by Vintage. 544 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for India

The New York Review of Books

Naipaul blames Gandhi for his failure to import into India the racial consciousness that marked his South African campaign, a consciousness that might have enabled India to transcend its compartmentalized and patchwork condition and achieve true nationhood;

Jul 14 1977 | Read Full Review of India: A Million Mutinies Now...

India Today

"As a child trying to read," he writes, "I had felt that two worlds separated me from the books that were offered to me at school and in the libraries: the childhood world of our remembered India, and the more colonial world of our city."

May 22 2000 | Read Full Review of India: A Million Mutinies Now...

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