Shiva Naipaul was the brother of V. S. Naipaul and author of Firefles and The Chip-Chip Gatherers. Fireflies, his first novel, published in 1970 and longlisted for the 'Lost Man Booker Award' in 2010, is set in Naipaul's native Trinidad. It includes a new foreword by Amit Chaudhuri.
The Khojas are Trinidad's most venerated Hindu family. Rigidly orthodox, presiding over acres of ill-kept sugarcane and hoards of jewellery enthusiastically guarded by old Mrs Khoja, they seem to have triumphed more by default than by anything else. Only 'Baby' Khoja, who is parcelled off into an arranged marriage with a blustering bus driver, proves an exception to this rule. Her heroic story - of resourcefulness, strength and survival - is the gleaming thread in Shiva Naipaul's ferociously comic and profoundly sad first novel.