Beyond Belief is a book about one of the more important and unsettling issues of our time. But it is not a book of opinion. It is, in the Naipaul way, a very rich and human book, full of people and their stories: stories of family, both broken and whole; of religion and nation; and of the constant struggle to create a world of virtue and prosperity in equal measure.
Islam is an Arab religion, and it makes imperial Arabizing demands on its converts. In this way it is more than a private faith; and it can become a neurosis. What has this Arab Islam done to the histories of the non-Arab Islamic states: Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia? How do the converted peoples view their past - and their future? In a follow-up to Among the Believers, his classic account of his travels through these countries, V. S. Naipaul returns, after a gap of seventeen years, to find out how and what the converted preach.
`Peerless . . . the human encounters are described minutely, superbly, picking up inconsistencies in people's tales, catching the uncertainties and the nuances . . . there is a candour to his writing, a constant precision at its heart' Sunday Times
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.