A Way in the World: A Novel by V. S. Naipaul

By V. S. Naipaul

In his long-awaited, tremendously cutting edge new novel, Naipaul, "one of literature's nice travelers" (Los Angles Times), spans continents and centuries to create what's straight away an autobiography and a fictional archaeology of colonialism. "Dickensian . . . an excellent new prism wherein to view (Naipaul's) lifestyles and work."--New York occasions.

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Extra resources for A Way in the World: A Novel

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It plays for him, is never quite the same: bromeliads uncurl, strange beasts pad in with moonlit eyes, a spoonbill tiptoes past and is arrested into frame. The paintbrush renders. Poverty fatigues. But between parallel lives he finds he’s deeply happy, unashamed of his eccentricities and need to paint things to which no one attaches belief. The dark woman returns each night to his dreams {10 with a mandolin, stretched against dunes and fast asleep. Someday, he thinks, my chest could be opened by a switchblade.

30 risk In the dream, I am given a monkey heart and told to be careful how I love because of the resulting infection. Suddenly a hard-boiled egg with no yolk, I pitch down a great hill in a holy city, past the flaming beakers of ethanol, the lapis bowls in which Science would peel me apart. And when I skid into a fleshy patch of grass, I unroll into a grub. A grub with the mind of a girl, a girl with the lips of an insect. A voice says, Metamorphosis will make you ugly. I answer: Radiance will change its name.

Today the photograph of the Seri woman in sepia, bare-breasted in a skirt of sewn-together pelican wings. Dust settles on the street, on the man sharpening his machete at the Cocos Helados stand. Every day, it happens like this. We emerge from the pale nets of sleep like ghost shrimp in the estuaries— The brain humming its electric language. Touching something in a state of becoming.

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