In these 11 pieces, V.S. Naipaul charts more than half-a-century of personal inquiry into the mysteries of written expression and of fiction in particular. Here are his boyhood experiences of reading books and his first, youthful efforts at writing them. This collection also shows the early glimmers and evolution of ideas about the proper relation of particular literary forms to particular cultures and identities. Here, too, is Naipaul's famous comment on his putative literary forebear Conrad and, a less familiar but no less intriguing, preface to the only book Naipaul's father ever published. Finally, in his celebrated Nobel Address, "Two Worlds", Naipaul reflects on the full scope of his career, rounding off the volume as an intellectual autobiography.
V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He is the award-winning author of more than fourteen works of fiction, including The Mystic Masseur, A House for Mr Biswas, A Bend in the River and Half a Life, and twelve works of non-fiction, including the acclaimed Indian trilogy comprising An Area of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization and India: A Million Mutinies Now . In 1990, V. S. Naipaul received a knighthood for services to literature; in 1993, he was the first recipient of the David Cohen British Literature Prize in recognition of a 'lifetime's achievement of a living British writer'. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. He lives in Wiltshire.