Half a Life: A Novel

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 23, 2009 - Fiction - 224 pages
14 Reviews
In a narrative that moves with dreamlike swiftness from India to England to Africa, Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul has produced his finest novel to date, a bleakly resonant study of the fraudulent bargains that make up an identity.

The son of a Brahmin ascetic and his lower-caste wife, Willie Chandran grows up sensing the hollowness at the core of his father's self-denial and vowing to live more authentically. That search takes him to the immigrant and literary bohemias of 1950s London, to a facile and unsatisfying career as a writer, and at last to a decaying Portugese colony in East Africa, where he finds a happiness he will then be compelled to betray. Brilliantly orchestrated, at once elegiac and devastating in its portraits of colonial grandeur and pretension, Half a Life represents the pinnacle of Naipaul's career.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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Review: Half a Life

User Review  - Seema Dubey - Goodreads

I resisted reading Naipaul for a long time, not having the desire to read a writer with a warped sense of what India is and who Indians are. Finding the bias ridiculous that w/o reading I would not ... Read full review

Review: Half a Life

User Review  - Satyabrat Mishra - Goodreads

No book has ever made me laugh as much as half a life. There was a point ( the story of King Cassota and the beggar queen by Wily ) when I closed the book, sat staring at the wall and laughed my heart ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at Oxford he began to write, and since then he has followed no other profession. He is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction and the recipient of numerous honors, including the Nobel Prize in 2001, the Booker Prize in 1971, and a knighthood for services to literature in 1990. He lives in Wiltshire, England.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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