A Way in the World is a vastly innovative novel exploring vastly innovative novel explores colonial inheritance through a series of narratives that span continents, swing back and forth between past and present and delve into both autobiography and fiction.
V. S. Naipaul offers a personal choice of examples of Spanish and British imperial history in the Caribbean, including an imagined vision of Raleigh's last expedition and an introduction to Francisco de Miranda, a would-be liberator and precursor to Bolivar, which are placed within a context of echoing modernity and framed by two more personal, heavily autobiographical sections sketching the narrator - an eloquent yet humble man of Indian descent who grew up in Trinidad but spent much of his adult life in England and Africa.
Meditative and dramatic, these historical reconstructions, imbued with Naipaul's acute perception, drawn with his deft and sensitive touch, and told in his beautifully wrought prose, are transmuted into an astonishing novel exploring the profound and mysterious effect of history on the individual.
V.S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He came to England on a scholarship in 1950. He spent four years at University College, Oxford, and began to write, in London, in 1954. He pursued no other profession. His novels include A House for Mr Biswas, The Mimic Men, Guerrillas, A Bend in the River, and The Enigma of Arrival. In 1971 he was awarded the Booker Prize for In a Free State. His works of nonfiction, equally acclaimed, include Among the Believers, Beyond Belief, The Masque of Africa, and a trio of books about India: 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. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. He lived with his wife Nadira and cat Augustus in Wiltshire, and died in 2018.