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Naipaul, V. S.. A WRITER'S PEOPLE: WAYS OF LOOKING AND FEELING. New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 195 pages. Fine.

Retrospective collection of essays. One of V. S. Naipaul's finest achievements. It is also his single most underrated work. Uncorrected Proof. Precedes and should not be confused with the regular trade edition. Published in a small and limited one-time-only print run as a softcover original only for the exclusive use of the author and publisher. None of the copies was sold commercially. It has no ISBN of its own. The Uncorrected Proof is now rare. Presents V. S. Naipaul's "A Writer's People: Ways of Looking And Feeling". His literary essays, written late in his long career by a writer who has much more to say that is important and enriching. Not a professional literary critic, refreshingly so, Naipaul has given us five portrait-essays that could only be written by him, an inimitable Master of language and form. Each essay is a seamless and masterly fusion of memoir, factual biography, personal observation, cultural journalism, and formal criticism. The Naipaul scalpel is wielded, of course, and draws gobs of blood. But the Naipaul who makes the dogged effort (in his novels and travel writing) to understand, and then impart that understanding to us in these essays, is also here, authoritatively so. The two pieces on the much-written-about Mahatma Gandhi are original while the one on Gustave Flaubert, which depends mainly on his readerly powers of perception and insight, is one of the best things Naipaul has ever written, that is, one of the best things ever written on Flaubert in particular and literature in general, the concrete and specific attaining universal significance. Naipaul's hatchet job on Anthony Powell, one of the sacred cows of British literature, is cruel, necessary, and exactly right. "One of the most amazing books I have ever come across. The book contains a theme: What is history, what is disaster, and what is civilization. He does not write to belittle others or settle some score. Anyone could do that. A reader expects more from a writer of great imagination. Naipaul sees so much, and feels so much more" (Muhammad A. Quddus). "Plot is for those who already know the world; narrative is for those who want to discover it. This is what I would ask of the writer: How much of the modern world does his work contain?" (V. S. Naipaul). "The greatest writer of English prose" (London Observer). Bar none. Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul died on August 11, 2018 at the age of 85. An absolute "must-have" title for V. S. Naipaul collectors. This is a copy of the Uncorrected Proof. This title is a classic. This is one of few copies of the Uncorrected Proof of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare copy thus. Winner of the Booker Prize in 1971 for "In A Free State". Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. One of the greatest writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER V. S. NAIPAUL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0375407383. $50.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 20, 2019.