An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India

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.
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An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India

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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.
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Editorial Reviews

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

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375708350
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/9/2002
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 322,435
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

V. S. Naipaul
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.

Biography

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at University College, Oxford, he began to write, and since then has followed no other profession. He has published more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Half a Life, A House for Mr. Biswas, A Bend in the River, and a collection of letters, Between Father and Son. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Wiltshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 17, 1932
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chaguanas, Trinidad
    1. Education:
      Queen's Royal College, Trinidad, 1943-48; B.A., University College, Oxford, 1953

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.
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Table of Contents

Traveller’s Prelude: A Little Paperwork
 
Part One
1. A Resting-Place for the Imagination
2. Degree
3. The Colonial
4. Romancers
 
Part Two
5. A Doll’s House on the Dal Lake
6. The Medieval City
7. Pilgrimage
 
Part Three
8. Fantasy and Ruins
9. The Garland on my Pillow
10. Emergency
11. The Village of the Dubes
 
Flight
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2001

    ABSOLUTE FACTS

    Though this book was written around 1963-64, the situation has only marginally improved and the beauty of the book lies in the fact that naipaul has so correctly understood and analysed the mentality of indians,be it the dishonest businessman of madras or a stupid kashmiri. be it shaikh abdulla making a fool of everyone or those thoroughly corrupt and shamelessly lazy indian govt. employes. The narration is smooth and content is simply magnificant. this is truly a collector's item.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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