V. S. Naipaul, Author, Pankaj Mishra, Editor, Michael Dibdin, Joint Author . Knopf $24 (224p) ISBN 978-0-375-41517-3

One imagines many readers are still absorbing The Writer and the World, Naipaul's magisterial collection of deeply opinionated global political reports and cultural meditations that was released last August, covering the last four decades of the Nobel laureate's nonfiction work. The paperback of Writer pubs a month before this book, which collects Naipaul's literary prose, a mixed bag including everything from reminiscences of his laconic childhood approach toward writing to his 1983 foreword to his celebrated 1961 novel, A House for Mr. Biswas. Indeed, the most substantial piece here, "Prologue to an Autobiography," is also 20 years old and also previously published, as are the other 10 entries here. All touch on Naipaul's Trinidadian upbringing and coming-of-age or his adult writing life in one way or another; together, they form a literary autobiography that has its apotheosis in the most recent piece, Naipaul's 2001 Nobel lecture, "Two Worlds," which notes, "When I began I had no idea of the way ahead. I wished only to do a book." He has done many; this book is for readers interested in their sources. (Sept. 7)

Reviewed on: 06/23/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 119 pages - 978-0-307-55746-9
Hardcover - 202 pages - 978-0-330-42022-8
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-4000-3130-6
Paperback - 202 pages - 978-0-330-42023-5
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-330-52297-7
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