The Middle Passage

V. S. Naipaul

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Picador

9780330522953
272
Synopsis

V. S. Naipaul’s first travel book, The Middle Passage, takes us on a rich and emotional journey to a place of the greatest interest – his birthplace.

In 1960, Dr Eric Williams, the first Prime Minister of independent Trinidad, invited V. S. Naipaul to revisit his native country and record his impressions. In this classic of modern travel writing he created a deft and remarkably prescient portrait of Trinidad and the Caribbean societies of four adjacent countries, Guyana, Surinam, Martinique and Jamaica. Haunted by the legacies of slavery and colonialism, and so thoroughly defined by the norms of Empire that it can scarcely comprehend its end, Naipaul catches this poor, topsy-turvy world at a critical moment, a time when racial and political assertion had yet to catch up – a perfect subject for the acute understanding and dazzling prose of this great writer.

‘Naipaul travels with the artist’s eye and ear and his observations are sharply discerning.’ Evelyn Waugh

‘Belongs in the same category of travel writing as Lawrence’s books on Italy, Greene’s on West Africa and Pritchett’s on Spain’ New Statesman

In the media
Naipaul travels with the artist’s eye and ear and his observations are sharply discerning.

Evelyn Waugh

Belongs in the same category of travel writing as Lawrence’s books on Italy, Greene’s on West Africa and Pritchett’s on Spain.

New Statesman

Where earlier travellers enthused or recoiled, Mr Naipaul explains. His tone is critical but humane, and he tempers his inevitable indignation with an admirable sense of comedy.

Observer

Dazzling reportorial skills and a sharp historical mind.

New York Times Book Review