Set on a troubled Caribbean island – where Asians, Africans, Americans and former British colonials co-exist in a state of suppressed hysteria – “Guerrillas” is a novel of colonialism and revolution. A white man arrives with his mistress, an English woman influenced by fantasies of native power and sexuality, unaware of the consequences of her actions. Together with a leader of the “revolution”, they act out a gripping drama of death, sexual violence, and spiritual impotence. “Guerrillas” depicts a convulsion in public life, and ends in private violence. Place and people are evoked with an intensity unrivalled elsewhere. The novel comes with extraordinary force from the centre of a profound moral awareness of the world’s plight. ‘Impeccable prose, precise, austere, modulating always from place to people to dialogue with a fastidious reserve. “Guerrillas” seems to me Naipaul’s Heart of Darkness: a brilliant artist’s anatomy of emptiness, and of despair’ – “Observer”.
V. S. Naipaul - A Bend in the River
In the "brilliant novel" (The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man—an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.
V. S. Naipaul - In a Free State
No writer has rendered our boundariless, post-colonial world more acutely or prophetically than V. S. Naipaul, or given its upheavals such a hauntingly human face. A perfect case in point is this riveting novel, a masterful and stylishly rendered narrative of emigration, dislocation, and dread, accompanied by four supporting narratives. In the beginning it is just a car trip through Africa. Two English people--Bobby, a civil servant with a guilty appetite for African boys, and Linda, a supercilious compound wife-- are driving back to their enclave after a stay in the capital. But in between lies the landscape of an unnamed country whose squalor and ethnic bloodletting suggest Idi Amin's Uganda. And the farther Naipaul's protagonists travel into it, the more they find themselves crossing the line that separates privileged outsiders from horrified victims. Alongside this Conradian tour de force are four incisive portraits of men seeking liberation far from home. By turns funny and terrifying, sorrowful and unsparing, In A Free State is Naipaul at his best.
V. S. Naipaul - A House for Mr. Biswas
The early masterpiece of V. S. Naipaul’s brilliant career, A House for Mr. Biswas is an unforgettable story inspired by Naipaul's father that has been hailed as one of the twentieth century's finest novels. In his forty-six short years, Mr. Mohun Biswas has been fighting against destiny to achieve some semblance of independence, only to face a lifetime of calamity. Shuttled from one residence to another after the drowning death of his father, for which he is inadvertently responsible, Mr. Biswas yearns for a place he can call home. But when he marries into the domineering Tulsi family on whom he indignantly becomes dependent, Mr. Biswas embarks on an arduous–and endless–struggle to weaken their hold over him and purchase a house of his own. A heartrending, dark comedy of manners, A House for Mr. Biswas masterfully evokes a man’s quest for autonomy against an emblematic post-colonial canvas.
V. S. Naipaul - Half a life
In a corner of India untouched by anti-colonial agitation Willy Chandran's father stood at odds with the world - aspiring to greatness whilst living out the dreary life marked out for him by his ancestors. In an attempt to defy his past, he marries a low-caste woman only to find himself at the mercy of his own fury. From this unhappy union the utterly compelling character of Willy Chandran emerges, oddly like his father, naively eager to find something that will place him both in and apart from the world. He is drawn to England and the immigrant community of post war London, its dingy West End clubs, and sexual encounters, and even to the eccentric milieu of the English writer. But it is Willy's first experience of love that might bring him the fulfillment he so desperately seeks. His wife Ana leads him to her home, a province of Portuguese Africa, a country whose inhabitants are all uncertainly living out the last days of colonialism. Naipaul delineates the relationship between father and son with wonderful clarity and compassion; the comic brilliance of the London scenes and the penetrating descriptions of Africa are hard to beat.
V. S. Naipaul - India
In 1975, at the height of Indira Gandhi’s “Emergency,” V. S. Naipaul returned to India, the country his ancestors had left one hundred years earlier. Out of that journey he produced this concise masterpiece: a vibrant, defiantly unsentimental portrait of a society traumatized by centuries of foreign conquest and immured in a mythic vision of its past. Drawing on novels, news reports, political memoirs, and his own encounters with ordinary Indians–from a supercilious prince to an engineer constructing housing for Bombay’s homeless–Naipaul captures a vast, mysterious, and agonized continent inaccessible to foreigners and barely visible to its own people. He sees both the burgeoning space program and the 5,000 volunteers chanting mantras to purify a defiled temple; the feudal village autocrat and the Naxalite revolutionaries who combined Maoist rhetoric with ritual murder. Relentless in its vision, thrilling in the keenness of its prose, India: A Wounded Civilization is a work of astonishing insight and candor.
T. S. Eliot - Murder in the Cathedral
Murder in the Cathedral, written for the Canterbury Festival on 1935, was the first high point on T. S. Eliot's dramatic achievement. It remains one of the great plays of the century. Like Greek drama, its theme and form are rooted in religion and ritual purgation and renewal, and it was this return to the earliest sources of drama that brought poetry triumphantly back to the English stage.
William Golding - Rites of Passage
In the cabin of an ancient, stinking warship bound for Australia, a man writes a journal to entertain his godfather back in England. With wit and disdain he records mounting tensions on board, as an obsequious clergyman attracts the animosity of the tyrannical captain and surly crew.
Rudyard Kipling - Kim (angol)
'I am Kim. I am Kim. And what is Kim?' His soul repeated it again and again. Set against the backdrop of Britain and Russia's political struggle in central Asia, Kim, the son of a drunken Irish soldier grows up a street-wise orphan in the city of Lahore. Playful and spirited, Kim befriends an aged Tibetan Lama and journeys with him across India, experiencing the exotic culture, religion and people of the subcontinent. On their travels they come across Kim's father's old army regiment and as his adventures take him further into the world of secret agents and political intrigue, Kim is torn between his spiritual self and the expectations of his British compatriots.
V. S. Naipaul - Magic Seeds
From the Nobel laureate–a spare, searing new novel about identity and idealism, and their ability to shape or destroy us. Willie Chandran–whom we first met in Half a Life–is a man in his early forties who has allowed one identity after another to be thrust upon him, as if he could truly know himself by becoming what others imagine him to be. His life has taken him from his native India to England, Africa in its last colonial moment, and Berlin, until finally it returns him to his homeland. Succumbing to the demanding encouragement of his sister–and his own listlessness–Willie joins an underground movement in India ostensibly devoted to unfettering the lower castes. But seven years of revolutionary campaigns and several years in jail convince him that the revolution “had nothing to do with the village people we said we were fighting for…[that] our ideas and words were more important than their lives and their ambitions for themselves.” And, as well, he feels himself further than ever “from his own history and…from the ideas of himself that might have come to him with that history.” When Willie returns to England where, thirty years before, his psychological and physical wanderings began, he finds the fruit of another unexpected social revolution (more magic seeds), and comes to see himself as a man “serving an endless prison sentence”–a revelation that may finally release him into his true self. Magic Seeds is a masterpiece, written with all the depth and resonance, the clarity of vision and precision of language, that are the hallmarks of this brilliant writer.
Doris Lessing - The Fifth Child
Four children, a beautiful old house, the love of relatives and friends; Harriet and David Lovatt's life is a glorious hymn to domestic bliss and old-fashioned family values. But when their fifth child is born, a sickly and implacable shadow is cast over this tender idyll. Large and ugly, violent and uncontrollable, the infant Ben, "full of cold dislike", tears at Harriet's breast. Struggling to care for her new-born child, faced with a darkness and a strange defiance she has never known before, Harriet is deeply afraid of what, exactly, she has brought into the world...
V. S. Naipaul - Mr. Stone and the Knights Companion
Mr Stone likes to be known as Head Librarian with Excal, and dislikes the prospect of retirement. After a brief acquaintanceship with Mrs Springer, he marries her to defend himself against idleness and solitude. Then a foolproof plan strikes him, to introduce the order of the Knights Companion.
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Synopsis The story that never grows old... Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse,Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic. And now readers can own it in a beautifully designed hardcover edition worthy of its stature. This Christmas' meaningful gift, the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Lord of the Flies is the volume that every fan of this classic book will have to own.
V. S. Naipaul - An Area of Darkness
A classic of modern travel writing, An Area of Darkness is Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul’s profound reckoning with his ancestral homeland and an extraordinarily perceptive chronicle of his first encounter with India. Traveling from the bureaucratic morass of Bombay to the ethereal beauty of Kashmir, from a sacred ice cave in the Himalayas to an abandoned temple near Madras, Naipaul encounters a dizzying cross-section of humanity: browbeaten government workers and imperious servants, a suavely self-serving holy man and a deluded American religious seeker. An Area of Darkness also abounds with Naipaul’s strikingly original responses to India’s paralyzing caste system, its apparently serene acceptance of poverty and squalor, and the conflict between its desire for self-determination and its nostalgia for the British raj. The result may be the most elegant and passionate book ever written about the subcontinent.
Doris Lessing - Ben, In the World
At eighteen, Ben is in the world, but not of it. He is too large, too awkward, too inhumanly made. Now estranged from his family, he must find his own path in life. From London and the south of France to Brazil and the mountains of the Andes. Ben is tossed about in a tumultuous search for his people, a reason for his being. How the world receives him, and, he fares in it will horrify and captivate until the novel's dramatic finale.
Shiva Naipaul - The Chip-Chip Gatherers
The author brings to life an unforgettable cast of characters set in a tightly knit Hindu community in Trinidad, against a backdrop of the idiosyncrasies of a particular culture and the sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant truths about human society.
Doris Lessing - Love, Again
Book Description Love, Again tells the story of a 65-year-old woman who falls in love and struggles to maintain her sanity. Widowed for many years, with grown children, Sarah is a writer who works in the theater in London. During the production of a play, she falls in love with a seductive young actor, the beautiful and androgynous 28-year-old Bill, and then with the more mature 35-year-old director Henry. Finding herself in a state of longing and desire that she had thought was the province of younger women, Sarah is compelled to explore and examine her own personal history of love, from her earliest childhood desires to her most recent obsessions. The result is a brilliant anatomy of love from a master of human psychology who remains one of the most daring writers of fiction at work today. Publication Date: February 27, 1997
John Galsworthy - The Forsyte Saga
The three novels which make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family between 1886 and 1920. Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women. This is the only critical edition of the work available, with Notes that explain contemporary artistic and literary allusions and define the slang of the time.
Rudyard Kipling - The Jungle Book
In the jungle of Southern India the Seeonee Wolf-Pack has a new cub. He is not a wolf - he is Mowgli, a human child, but he knows nothing of the world of men. He lives and hunts with his brothers the wolves. Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther are his friends and teachers. And Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger, is his enemy. Kipling's famous story of Mowgli's adventures in the jungle has been loved by young and old for more than a hundred years.
Doris Lessing - The Grass Is Singing
A landmark of twentieth-century literature, The Grass is Singing is Doris Lessing's classic first novel, brought with her when she came to England from Southern Rhodesia in 1950. Set in Rhodesia, it tells the story of Dick Turner, a failed white farmer and his wife, Mary, a town girl who hates the bush. Trapped by poverty, sapped by the heat of their tíny brick and iron house, Mary, lonely and frightened, turns to Moses, the black cook, for kindness and understanding.
Ian McEwan - Black Dogs
Set in late 1980s Europe at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Black Dogs is the intimate story of the crumbling of a marriage, as witnessed by an outsider. Jeremy is the son-in-law of Bernard and June Tremaine, whose union and estrangement began almost simultaneously. Seeking to comprehend how their deep love could be defeated by ideological differences Bernard and June cannot reconcile, Jeremy undertakes writing June's memoirs, only to be led back again and again to one terrifying encouner forty years earlier--a moment that, for June, was as devastating and irreversible in its consequences as the changes sweeping Europe in Jeremy's own time. In a finely crafted, compelling examination of evil and grace, Ian McEwan weaves the sinister reality of civiliation's darkest moods--its black dogs--with the tensions that both create love and destroy it.