From the Publisher
“Whatever his literary form, Naipaul is a master.” –The New York Review of Books
“This is India. I don’t know any other book that comes so near to capturing the whole crazy spectrum. . . . Brilliant.” –John Wain, The Observer
“His narrative skill is spectacular. One returns with pleasure to the slow hand-in-hand revelation of both India and himself. . . . There is a kind of displaced person who has a better sense of place than anybody: Mr. Naipaul is an outstanding example.” –The Times (London)
“[Naipaul’s] penetrating, opinionated travel writing . . . makes up a remarkable running commentary on the clash of civilizations.” –The New York Times
"Naipaul writes like a painter...whatever his literary form (he) is a master." -- The New York Review of Books
"A highly skillful writer...he spins his webs, his patterns, not so much to entrap the reader, as to make him think for himself." -- The Listner
"Brilliant...true biography arises when a man encounters something in his life which shocks him into the need for self-examination and self-explanation. It was natural that a sourjourn in India should provide this shock for Naipaul...The experience was not a pleasant one, but the pain the author suffered which created rather the numbing...(An Area of Darkness) is tender, lyrical, explosive and cool." -- The Observer
Read an Excerpt
A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India.
Traveling from the bureaucratic morass of Bombay to the ethereal beauty of Kashmir, from a sacred ice cave in the Himalayas to an abandoned temple near Madras, Naipaul encounters a dizzying cross-section of humanity: browbeaten government workers and imperious servants, a suavely self-serving holy man and a deluded American religious seeker. An Area of Darkness also abounds with Naipaul’s strikingly original responses to India’s paralyzing caste system, its apparently serene acceptance of poverty and squalor, and the conflict between its desire for self-determination and its nostalgia for the British raj. The result may be the most elegant and passionate book ever written about the subcontinent.