A Bend in the River
A Bend in the River is V. S. Naipaul’s vivid exploration of post-colonial Africa at the time of Independence. With an introduction by Yiyun Li, author of A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.
Salim has spent most of his life on the east coast of Africa, living and working with his family. When he sets out to build a new life for himself, moving to an unnamed country in the heart of the continent he believes he is doing so to fulfil his duty as a man. He buys a small shop in a sleepy town, at a bend in the river, where he sells sundries to the locals.
First published in 1979, A Bend in the River is V.S. Naipaul's vivid exploration of post-colonial Africa at the time of Independence. Serving as a microcosm of this changing world, his bend in the river is a scene of chaos, violent change, warring tribes, ignorance, isolation and poverty. And from this rich landscape emerges one of the author's most potent works – a truly moving story of historical upheaval and social breakdown.
In the media
Naipaul has fashioned a work of intense imaginative force. It is a haunting creation, rich with incident and human bafflement, played out in an immense detail of landscape rendered with a poignant brilliance
Elizabeth Hardwick, author of Sleepless Nights
Always a master of fictional landscape, Naipaul here shows, in his variety of human examples and in his search for underlying social causes, a Tolstoyan spirit
John Updike, author of Rabbit, Run
Brilliant and terrifying