An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India

An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India

by V. S. Naipaul
     
 

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A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is V. S. Naipaul's profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India.  See more details below

Overview

A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is V. S. Naipaul's profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India.

Editorial Reviews

Ian Buruma
"Naipaul writes like a painter...whatever his literary form (he) is a master." -- The New York Review of Books
Nicholas Mosley
"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
John Wain
"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
From the Publisher
“This is India. I don’t know any other book that comes so near to capturing the whole crazy spectrum.... Brilliant.” — The Observer

“A Tolstoyan spirit.... The so-called Third World has produced no more brilliant literary artist.” — John Updike

“Naipaul is a master of English prose.” — J. M. Coetzee, New York Review of Books

“V. S. Naipaul has a substantial claim as a comic writer.... This humor, conducted throughout with the utmost stylistic quietude, is completely original.” — Kingsley Amis, The Spectator

“Mr. Naipaul travels with the artist’s eye and ear and his observations are sharply discerning.” — Evelyn Waugh

“For sheer abundance of talent there can hardly be a writer alive who surpasses V. S. Naipaul. [He is] the world’s writer, a master of language and perception.” — The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375708350
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/09/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
759,098
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.63(d)

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.

Meet the Author

V.S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at Oxford he began to write, and since then he has followed no other profession. He is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction and the recipient of numerous honors, including the Nobel Prize in 2001, the Booker Prize in 1971, and a knighthood for services to literature in 1990. He lives in Wiltshire, England.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Wiltshire, England
Date of Birth:
August 17, 1932
Place of Birth:
Chaguanas, Trinidad
Education:
Queen's Royal College, Trinidad, 1943-48; B.A., University College, Oxford, 1953

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