When Salim, a young Indian man, is offered a small business in Central Africa, he accepts. Accompanied by Metty, the son of one of the family slaves, he travels deep into the heart of the continent to become a trader in the town on a bend in the river. As Salim strives to establish himself, he becomes closely involved with the fluid and dangerous politics of the newly-independent state.
V.S. Naipaul unfolds a powerful story of changing Africa, sustaining his superb characterization and dramatic invention right to the memorable conclusion. He uses the troubled continent as a text to preach magnificently upon the sickness of a world losing touch with its past.
Together with A House for Mr Biswas, A Bend In The River established V.S. Naipaul as one of the pre-eminent novelists of our time.