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Half a Life By V. S. Naipaul

Half a Life
by V. S. Naipaul

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A devastatingly moving and often very funny novel from a masterful voice.
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Half a Life Summary

Half a Life by V. S. Naipaul

In Half a Life we are introduced to the compelling figure of Willie Chandran. Springing from the unhappy union of a low-caste mother and a father constantly at odds with life, Willie is naively eager to find something that will place him both in and apart from the world. Drawn to England, and to the immigrant and bohemian communities of post-war London, it is only in his first experience of love that he finally senses the possibility of fulfilment.

In its humorous and sensitive vision of the half-lives quietly lived out at the centre of our world, V.S. Naipaul's graceful novel brings its own unique illumination to essential aspects of our shared history.

`The best novel I have read this year . . . the prose is crystalline and seductively so - you hardly realize that you are consuming a work of genius until you are plunged deep into a dramatic story which stretches across three continents' Antonia Fraser, Irish Times

`A small masterpiece and a potent distillation of the author's work to date. Mr Naipaul endows his story with the heightened power of fable' Michiko Kakatuni, New York Times

`A brilliant, withering story of the bitter consequences of empire . . . Writing with a degree of wit and subtlety beyond the grasp of most writers, Naipaul has built a bleak world of discomfort and yearning from which, paradoxically, the reader will not want to escape' Jeremy Poolman, Daily Mail

`Parts are as sly and funny as anything Naipaul has written. Nobody who enjoys seeing English beautifully controlled should miss this novel' John Carey, Sunday Times

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Half a Life Reviews

Eager to place himself both in and yet apart from the world, Willie Chandran is drawn to England and the immigrant community of post-war London but it is his first experience of love that may bring him the fulfilment he so desperately seeks. His wife Ana leads him to her homeland in Portuguese Africa whose inhabitants are living out the final days of colonialism. A moving and often very funny novel by the multi-award winning author who last year received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

About 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 and most recently 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.

Additional information

Half a Life by V. S. Naipaul
V. S. Naipaul
Used - Good
Pan Macmillan
Long-listed for Man Booker Prize 2001 (UK)
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine.