With a preface by the author.
V. S. Naipaul's legendary command of broad comedy and acute social observation is on abundant display in these classic works of fiction - two novels and a collection of stories - that capture the rhythms of life in the Caribbean and England with impressive subtlety and humour.
The Suffrage of Elvira is Naipaul's hilarious take on an electoral campaign in the back country of Trinidad, where the candidates' tactics include blatant vote-buying and supernatural sabotage. The eponymous protagonist of Mr Stone and the Knights Companion is an ageing Englishman of ponderously regular habits whose life is thrown into upheaval by a sudden marriage and an unanticipated professional advancement. And the stories in A Flag on the Island take us from a Chinese bakery in Trinidad - whose black proprietor faces bankruptcy until he takes a Chinese name - to a rooming house in London, where the genteel landlady plays a nasty Darwinian game with her budgerigars. Unfailingly stylish, filled with intelligence and feeling, The Nightwatchman's Occurrence Book is the work of a writer who can do just about anything that can be done with language.
`V. S. Naipaul has a substantial claim as a comic writer . . . This humour, conducted throughout with the utmost stylistic quietude, is completely original' Kingsley Amis, Spectator
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.