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Literary Occasions Essays by V. S. Naipaul
  

Synopsis

Literary Occasions Essays by V. S. Naipaul

In these eleven extended pieces V. S. Naipaul charts more than half a century of personal enquiry into the mysteries of the written word and of fiction in particular. Here are his boyhood experiences of reading books and his first youthful efforts at writing them; the evolution of his ideas about the extent to which individual cultures shape identities and influence literary forms; observations on Conrad, his literary forebear; the moving preface he wrote to the only book his father ever published; and his reflections on his career, ending with his celebrated Nobel lecture, `Two Worlds'. A remarkable companion piece to The Writer and the World, Naipaul's previous volume of highly acclaimed essays, Literary Occasions is a stirring contribution to the fading art of the critic, and a revelation of a life in letters. `An engaging guide to the writing life, full of interest for the would-be novelist' Independent `He is an exceptionally good and perceptive critic - a few passages on Dickens are worth whole books by others - and when he addresses the art of fiction he not only writes beautifully (as always) but with complete humility' New Statesman `The writing itself is a wonder of clarity, complex ideas given shape in simple English, and achieving that most difficult of tasks - having writer and reader seem simultaneously to be making the same journey' New York Times Book Review

Reviews

He brings to [nonfiction] an extraordinary capacity for making art out of lucid thought. . . . I can no longer imagine the world without Naipaul's writing. --Vivian Gornick, Los Angeles Times Book Review

[Naipaul] has a genius for noticing, a genius for freezing the instant when meaning is born from the accidents of the everyday. . . . Each sentence pounces on its meaning, neat as a cat. -- The New York Review of Books

It is altogether tonic to have a writer such as V. S. Naipaul in our midst. -- The New York Times Book Review

Fascinating. . . . Poignant. . . . He shows an almost scientific precocity at being an observer and historian of his family's life. . . . A lean little guidebook to the making of a Nobel laureate. -- The Miami Herald

[Literary Occasions] shed[s] light on Naipaul's intellectual evolution and on the source of his social insight, his humor, and his gentle melancholy. -- The Boston Globe

Splendid. . . . Affecting. . . . The perfect complement to Naipaul's volume of travel and political essays, The Writer and the World,

-- The Oregonian

[A] gift to the reading and writing public. . . . Literary Occasions is . . . an ideal place to make one's first acquaintance with Naipaul's literary universe. -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Deeply affecting. . . . Personally revealing. . . . Thoughtful clarity . . . characterizes all his prose. -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

Fascinating. . . . Naipaul truly is a writer for the world. -- The Tennessean

Nuanced, personal. . . . Naipaul's prose is a perfect combination of lucidity, elegance and gloom. -- The Telegraph (Calcutta, India) Naipaul's essays play an importantpart in understanding this remarkable writer. . . . Those already familiar with his work will find their understanding greatly enhanced by these essays. -- The Sunday Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ) Superbly written. . . . [Naipaul is] a gifted and articulate writer whose prose, comments, and analysis force readers to closely inspect their own ideas. -- Nashville City Paper


About 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 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 non-fiction, including Half a Life, A House for Mr Biswas, A Bend in the River and most recently The Masque of Africa, and a collection of correspondence, Letters Between a Father and Son. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st June 2011

Author

V. S. Naipaul

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Author's Website

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Publisher

Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Format

Paperback
224 pages

Categories

Literary essays

ISBN

9780330522977

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