North of South: An African Journey

Front Cover
Penguin, Sep 26, 1996 - Social Science - 352 pages
2 Reviews
In the 1970s Shiva Naipaul travelled to Africa, visiting Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia for several months. Through his experiences, the places he visited and his various encounters, he aimed to discover what 'liberation', 'revolution' and 'socialism' meant to the ordinary people. His journey of discovery is brilliantly documented in this intimate, comic and controversial portrayal of a continent on the brink of change.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Like his famous brother V.S. Naipaul, Shiva Naipaul has a sharp eye, a pen to match, and a pessimistic view of human nature. His travel journal through Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia is brilliantly written, totally irreverent about people like Julius Nyerere, who at the time of writing (the late 1970s) were revered in Africa and the West, and unrelentingly gloomy. He comes close to political grandstanding when he repeatedly bemoans African prejudice against Asians, but he is right. The discrimination, hatred and maltreatment of Asians in Africa was and is just as ugly as antisemitism in Europe, but even 30 years after this book was written has not been adequately condemned. Read the book and enjoy it, but do not mistake it for a balanced analysis of African affairs. Naipaul would be the first to agree that it is no such thing. It is fabulous and subjective, but honest and hard-hitting travel writing.  

Review: North of South: An African Journey

User Review  - Kobe Bryant - Goodreads

Shiva is the kinder, gentler Naipaul brother Read full review

Selected pages


Bright Lights
I Black and White Old Style
New Style
Between Master and Slave
A Highlands Adventure
A Spell on the Coast
Taking the Socialist Road
Three Portraits
Animals and Men
The Haven of Peace
Words Words Words
Into the Void

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1996)

Shiva Naipaul was born in 1945 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He was educated at Queen's Royal College and St Mary's College in Trinidad and at University College, Oxford. He married in 1967 and had one son. His books include Fireflies (1970), which won the Jock Campbell New Statesman Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize and the Winifred Holtby Prize; North of South (1978), the story of his remarkable journey through Africa; Black and White (1980); A Hot Country (1983); and Beyond the Dragon's Mouth: Stories and Pieces (1984).

Bibliographic information