November 16, 2004
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0676975550
ISBN - 13: 9780676975550
Read from the Book
OneThe Rose-SellersIt had begun many years before, in Berlin. Another world. He was living there in a temporary, half-and-half way with his sister Sarojini. After Africa it had been a great refreshment, this new kind of protected life, being almost a tourist, without demands and without anxiety. It had to end, of course; and it began to end the day Sarojini said to him, "You've been here for six months. I may not be able to get your visa renewed again. You know what that means. You may not be able to stay here. That's the way the world is made. You can't object to it. You've got to start thinking of moving on. Do you have any idea of where you can go? Is there anything you feel you want to do?"Willie said, "I know about the visa. I've been thinking about it."Sarojini said, "I know your kind of thinking. It means putting something to the back of your mind."Willie said, "I don't see what I can do. I don't know where I can go.""You've never felt there was anything for you to do. You've never understood that men have to make the world for themselves.""You're right.""Don't talk to me like that. That's the way the oppressor class thinks. They've just got to sit tight, and the world will continue to be all right for them."Willie said, "It doesn't help me when you twist things. You know very well what I mean. I feel a bad hand was dealt me. What could I have done in India? What could I have done in England in 1957 or 1958? Or in Africa?""Eighteen years in Africa. Your poor wife. She
From the Publisher
A stunning novel of the present moment that takes us into the hearts and minds of those who use terrorism as an ideal and a way of life, and those who aspire to the frightening power of wealth.
Abandoning a life he felt was not his own, Willie Chandran (the hero of Half a Life) moves to Berlin where his sister’s radical political awakening inspires him to join a liberation movement in India. There, in the jungles and dirt-poor small villages, through months of secrecy and night marches, Willie — a solitary, inward man — discovers both the idealism and brutality of guerilla warfare. When he finally escapes the movement, he is imprisoned for the murder of three policemen. Released unexpectedly on condition he return to England, he attempts to climb back into life in the West, but his experience of wealth, love and despair in London only bedevils him further.
Magic Seeds is a moving tale of a man searching for his life and fearing he has wasted it, and a testing study of the conflicts between the rich and the poor, and the struggles within each. Its spare, elegant prose sizzles with devastating psychological analysis, bleak humour and astonishing characters. Only V. S. Naipaul could have written a novel so attuned to the world and so much a challenge to it.
About the Author
V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. After four years at University College, Oxford, he began to write, and since then has followed no other profession. His books include Literary Occasions, A House for Mr. Biswas and The Enigma of Arrival. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
“When Naipaul talks, we listen.”
—The Atlantic Monthly
Praise for Half a Life:
“Naipaul is a master of English prose and the prose of Half a Life is as clean and cold as a knife.”
—J. M. Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize
“Here, sentence by sentence, is the consummate craftsmanship, the perception, the precision, the style.”
—The Globe and Mail