An Area of Darkness

An Area of Darkness

Book - 1992
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A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul's profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India.
Traveling from the bureaucratic morass of Bombay to the ethereal beauty of Kashmir, from a sacred ice cave in the Himalayas to an abandoned temple near Madras, Naipaul encounters a dizzying cross-section of humanity: browbeaten government workers and imperious servants, a suavely self-serving holy man and a deluded American religious seeker. An Area of Darkness also abounds with Naipaul's strikingly original responses to India's paralyzing caste system, its apparently serene acceptance of poverty and squalor, and the conflict between its desire for self-determination and its nostalgia for the British raj. The result may be the most elegant and passionate book ever written about the subcontinent.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, ©1992, 1964.
Edition: First Vintage Books edition.
ISBN: 9780375708350
0375708359
Characteristics: 290 pages ;,21 cm

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ClaireM_W
Feb 08, 2018

I love V. S. Naipal's writting - such beautifully expressed bitter reality. Nobel Prize Winner, Sir Vidiadhar, of Indian descent, born & raised in Trinidad, is at heart blindly loyal to no nation or creed. This particular book, from 1964, chronicles his first visit to India in hopes of finding his roots. (Odd for such an iconoclast to be so in sync with the zeitgeist of the times.) This is a merciless page -turner, I could not put it down, savouring every sentence. Lost hours of sleep, but so worth it.

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1aa
Jan 17, 2015

"A child was squatting in the mud of the street; the hairless, pink-skinned dog waited for the excrement. The child, big-bellied, rose; the dog ate."

And many other acute, shocking observations, and thoughtful reflection upon them - and upon himself.

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