V. S. Naipaul has always faced the challenges of "fitting one
civilization to another." In A Writer's People, he takes us into
this process of creative and intellectual assimilation, which has
shaped both his writing and his life.
Naipaul discusses the writers to whom he was exposed early
on--Derek Walcott, Gustave Flaubert, and his father, among
them--and his first encounters with literary culture. He
illuminates the ways in which the writings of Gandhi, Nehru, and
other Indian writers both reveal and conceal the authors themselves
and their nation. And he brings the same scrutiny to bear on his
own life: his early years in Trinidad; the empty spaces in his
family history; his ever-evolving reactions to the more complicated
India he would encounter for the first time at age thirty.
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