An Area of Darkness

His Discovery of India

V. S. Naipaul

The first book in V.S. Naipaul's acclaimed Indian trilogy - with a preface by the author.

An Area of Darkness is V. S. Naipaul’s semi-autobiographical account – at once painful and hilarious, but always thoughtful and considered – of his first visit to India, the land of his forebears. He was twenty-nine years old; he stayed for a year. From the moment of his inauspicious arrival in Prohibition-dry Bombay, bearing whisky and cheap brandy, he experienced a cultural estrangement from the subcontinent. It became for him a land of myths, an area of darkness closing up behind him as he travelled . . .

The experience was not a pleasant one, but the pain the author suffered was creative rather than numbing, and engendered a masterful work of literature that provides a revelation both of India and of himself: a displaced person who paradoxically possesses a stronger sense of place than almost anyone.

‘Brilliant’ Observer

‘His narrative skill is spectacular. One returns with pleasure to the slow hand-in-hand revelations of both India and himself’ The Times

Genre: Non-Fiction
ISBN: 978033052283001
Published: 02/09/2010

V. S. Naipaul

V. S. Naipaul

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at University College, Oxford, he began to write and since then has followed no other profession. He has published more than twenty books of fiction and non-fiction, including Half a Life, A House for Mr Biswas, A Bend in the River, The Masque of Africa, and a collection of correspondence, Letters Between A Father and Son. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

View author