The Enigma of Arrivalby V. S. Naipaul
From the Trade
The story of a writer's singular journey—from one place to another, from the British colony of Trinidad to the ancient countryside of England, and from one state of mind to another—this is perhaps Naipaul's most autobiographical work. Yet it is also woven through with remarkable invention to make it a rich and complex novel.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"An elegant memoir, a subtly incisive self-reckoning." —The Washington Post Book World
"Far and away the most curious novel I've read in a long time, and maybe the most hypnotic book I've ever read." —St. Petersburg Times
"The conclusion is both heart-breaking and bracing: the only antidote to destruction—of dreams, of reality—is remembering. As eloquently as anyone now writing, Naipaul remembers." —Time
"V.S. Naipaul is a man who can inspire readers to follow him through the Slough of Despond and beyond.... Like a computer game [this book] leads the reader on by a series of clues, nearer and nearer to an understanding of the man and the writer. Few memoirs can claim as much." —Newsday
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(Susan Sontag, from Conversations with Susan Sontag)
Meet the Author
V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He has published more than 20 books of fiction and nonfiction, including A House for Mr. Biswas, A Bend in the River, The Enigma of Arrival and An Area of Darkness. He lives in Wiltshire, England. He was knighted in 1990 and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.
- Wiltshire, England
- Date of Birth:
- August 17, 1932
- Place of Birth:
- Chaguanas, Trinidad
- Queen's Royal College, Trinidad, 1943-48; B.A., University College, Oxford, 1953
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Enigma is a novel that requires time, attention, and multiple readings to be fully appreciated, but the effort is well worth the reward. In this complicated metafiction Naipaul only hints at the identity of the narrator, making the experiences and emotions less personal and more universal. The recurring references to literature and the writing process transform the ideas of change, death, sight, family, and identity into relatable and tangible concepts. This is not light reading, but it is enlightening reading.