India: A Wounded Civilization

India: A Wounded Civilization

by V. S. Naipaul
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In 1975, at the height of Indira Gandhi’s “Emergency,” V. S. Naipaul returned to India, the country his ancestors had left one hundred years earlier. Out of that journey he produced this concise masterpiece: a vibrant, defiantly unsentimental portrait of a society traumatized by centuries of foreign conquest and immured in a mythic vision of

Overview

In 1975, at the height of Indira Gandhi’s “Emergency,” V. S. Naipaul returned to India, the country his ancestors had left one hundred years earlier. Out of that journey he produced this concise masterpiece: a vibrant, defiantly unsentimental portrait of a society traumatized by centuries of foreign conquest and immured in a mythic vision of its past.

Drawing on novels, news reports, political memoirs, and his own encounters with ordinary Indians–from a supercilious prince to an engineer constructing housing for Bombay’s homeless–Naipaul captures a vast, mysterious, and agonized continent inaccessible to foreigners and barely visible to its own people. He sees both the burgeoning space program and the 5,000 volunteers chanting mantras to purify a defiled temple; the feudal village autocrat and the Naxalite revolutionaries who combined Maoist rhetoric with ritual murder. Relentless in its vision, thrilling in the keenness of its prose, India: A Wounded Civilization is a work of astonishing insight and candor.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Extraordinarily forceful. . . . Naipaul is an elegantly precise and exacting writer.” –Newsweek

“A deep pleasure to read. . . . Adventurous, inquiring, observant, penetrating, intelligent.” –The Washington Post Book World

“Typical Naipaul–brilliantly lucid, terse, with something hardbitten yet resigned in the emotional background.” –The New York Times Book Review

Library Journal
The Loss of El Dorado (1969) chronicles how the belief that the mythical land of plenty lay off the coast of Trinidad-Naipal's birthplace-placed that country into the world's vision, making it an object of desire for Spain and Britain as well as a haven for adventurers, slavers, and other undesirables. Naipaul's ancestors hailed from India, and in India: A Wounded Civilization (1975), the author returned to his roots to discover how the country's tumultuous past was still impacting its present and shaping its future. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Charles McGrath
....This is an indispensable book for anyone who wants seriously to come to grips with the experience of that tortured land. -- The New York Times Books of the Century

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400030750
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/08/2003
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
770,382
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >