North of South: An African Journey
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.
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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 JourneyUser Review - Kobe Bryant - Goodreads
Shiva is the kinder, gentler Naipaul brother Read full review
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