A Bend in the River

A Bend in the River

Book - 1997
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Sir V. S. Naipaul is one of the best writers of his generation -- "For sheer abundance of talent, there can hardly be a writer alive who surpasses V. S. Naipaul", said The New York Times Book Review. A Bend in the River (1979) is the novel of an Indian man who must make a new life for himself in a recently independent African state. Both he and his new country struggle to establish an identity as they are challenged by their changing circumstances. An immaculate and profound novel that Walter Clemons said "confirms Naipaul's position as one of the best writers now at work".
Publisher: New York : Random House, 1997.
Edition: Modern Library ed. --
ISBN: 9780679602675
Branch Call Number: FIC/Naipa 3588mb 1
Characteristics: xv, 416 p. --


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samutavi Aug 15, 2013

The plight of this character was so sad to me. He is disconnected from everything and everyone. His existence is so inconsequential that you can imagine he does not even leave footprints. His ineffectiveness is crushing and yet the story is so beautiful at the same time. Sometimes the absence of all that you yearn for is a reminder of how wonderful it is to yearn for something. Does that make sense?

Ansel1 Aug 06, 2012

Naipaul has an easy, flowing writing style. I lived in Africa for a couple of years and his descriptions of culturally based actions and events are, by my account anyway, well perceived.

Oct 24, 2009

VS Naipaul's classic and much-lauded novel about social upheaval in an unnamed African nation in the 1970s is simultaneously engrossing and chilling. Told from the point of view of an ethnic Indian man who was raised and lives in Africa, the story deals with many layers of dispossession and alienation amongst its individual characters and ethnic and social groups as they struggle amidst the tides of and enticements of modernity and the countering tides of history and tradition. Characters deal with these conflicting tides in varying states of paralysis, weariness and wariness. Even those who embark hopefully on personal or business relationships to try to further themselves and thrive in shifting social milieus all seem to be stymied and even crushed in rapid succession. All optimism seems to wane or is more violently extinguished as everyone either flees, goes into hiding or at very least "accepts new encumbrances". Naipaul's book is pointed and instructive, but not uplifting.

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