V. S. Naipaul's first travel book, The Middle Passage, takes us on a rich and emotional journey to a place of the greatest interest - his birthplace.
In 1960, Dr Eric Williams, the first Prime Minister of independent Trinidad, invited V. S. Naipaul to revisit his native country and record his impressions. In this classic of modern travel writing he created a deft and remarkably prescient portrait of Trinidad and the Caribbean societies of four adjacent countries, Guyana, Surinam, Martinique and Jamaica. Haunted by the legacies of slavery and colonialism, and so thoroughly defined by the norms of Empire that it can scarcely comprehend its end, Naipaul catches this poor, topsy-turvy world at a critical moment, a time when racial and political assertion had yet to catch up - a perfect subject for the acute understanding and dazzling prose of this great writer.
`Naipaul travels with the artist's eye and ear and his observations are sharply discerning.' Evelyn Waugh
`Belongs in the same category of travel writing as Lawrence's books on Italy, Greene's on West Africa and Pritchett's on Spain' New Statesman
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.