V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932 and emigrated to England in 1950, when he won a scholarship to University College, Oxford. He is the author of many novels, including A House for Mr. Biswas, A Bend in the River, and In a Free State, which won the Booker Prize. He has also written several nonfiction works based on his travels, including India: A Million Mutinies Now and Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples. He was knighted in 1990 and in 1993 was the first recipient of the David Cohen British Literature Prize.

IN THE REVIEW

The Writer and India

for David Pryce-Jones In concluding the first part of this article in the February 18 issue, V.S. Naipaul wrote, in part: “As a child trying to read, Ihad felt that two worlds separated me from the books that were offered to me at school and in the libraries: the …

Reading & Writing

for David Pryce-Jones “I have no memory at all. That’s one of the great defects of my mind: I keep on brooding over whatever interests me, by dint of examining it from different mental points of view I eventually see something new in it, and I alter its whole …

Indonesia: The Man of the Moment

Imaduddin was a lecturer in electrical engineering at the Bandung Institute of Technology. He was also an Islamic preacher. So in the 1960s and 1970s he was unusual: a man of science, one of the few in independent Indonesia, and at the same time a dedicated man of the faith.

A Way In the World

On my seventeenth birthday I became an acting second-class clerk in the Registrar-General’s Department. It was a filling-in job, between leaving school and going away to England, to the university; and it was one of the most hopeful times in my life. The Registrar-General’s Department was in the Red House, …

The End of Peronism?

V.S. Naipaul first traveled to Argentina for The New York Review in 1972, and his essays written over the next five years were later published as The Return of Eva Perón. The article that follows was written after he recently returned to Argentina. After fourteen years, I went again to …

Argentina: Living With Cruelty

In Argentina in March 1977, at the time of the military government’s “dirty war” against the guerrillas, I found myself taken off a long-distance bus by the police one day, and held for some hours as a suspected guerrilla. This was in the far north of the country—an older, more …

A Handful of Dust: Return to Guiana

In the early 1930s Evelyn Waugh traveled into the interior of British Guiana, on the old Spanish Main. There were three Guianas then, British, French, and Dutch, wedged between Venezuela and Brazil. British Guiana was the largest of the Guianas. It was 80,000 square miles, about the size of Great …

Our Universal Civilization

The following address was given at the Manhattan Institute in New York. I’ve given this talk the title of Our Universal Civilization. It is a rather big title, and I am a little embarrassed by it. I feel I should explain how it came about. I have no unifying theory …