440 pages, 8.29 × 5.23 × 1.16 in
November 7, 2013
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307594025
ISBN - 13: 9780307594020
About the Book
Offers insight into the author's range and creative process, in a treasury that includes pieces from such classics as "Miguel Street" and "In a Free State."
Read from the Book
From the IntroductionThe stories in Miguel Street were begun by a man who had everything to learn about writing and himself. The writing ambition had come very early to me, but it had always been only a kind of warm glow inside me, giving me the vaguest idea of what I might do. The writing ambition had come without the wish to do a particular kind of book, and so it stayed for years. I didn't even know in the beginning what kind of writer I might be. Was my gift a comic one or was it profounder? I wrote many stories in the blank period, but nothing like a book announced itself to me. I did attempt a book; I attempted two books; but the creative fog refused to lift. The first book I attempted was a version of Black Mischief, giving it a Trinidadian setting. I managed, with a kind of self-induced blindness, to take this to the end in the long vacation, writing very fast when the end was in sight. One man said it was 'phoney Waugh'. I suffered at that, and marked this man down both for his wit and the soundness of his judgement. I believe the book was actually presented, by a very kind friend, to a London publisher, but fortunately for everyone it was turned down.It seemed to me as a result that farce or comedy was not what I was meant for, and the next book I attempted three or four years later was extremely serious. I had no story; I thought I should do an account of a day in the life of someone such as I had been. The book lumbered on and on. When I left Oxford I took this d
From the Publisher
For the first time: the Nobel Prize winner’s stunning short fiction collected in one volume, with an introduction by the author.
Over the course of his distinguished career, V. S. Naipaul has written a remarkable array of short fiction that moves from Trinidad to London to Africa. Here are the stories from his Somerset Maugham Award–winning Miguel Street, in which he takes us into a derelict corner of Trinidad’s capital to meet, among others, Man-Man, who goes from running for public office to staging his own crucifixion. The tales in A Flag on the Island, meanwhile, roam from a Chinese bakery in Trinidad to a rooming house in London. And in the celebrated title story from the Booker Prize– winning In a Free State, an English couple traveling in an unnamed African country discover, under a veneer of civilization, a landscape of squalor and ethnic bloodletting.
No writer has rendered our postcolonial world more acutely or prophetically than V. S. Naipaul, or given its upheavals such a hauntingly human face.
About the Author
V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He has published more than twenty- five books of fiction and nonfiction and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.
“V. S. Naipaul is the world’s writer, a master of language and perception.” —The New York Times Book Review