Through five connected tales, V.S. Naipaul explores alienation, disruption and racial tension in a perilously unpredictable world.

In stories wrapped around a novella (later published as a separate volume), Naipaul introduces a range of discomfiting characters - a mercilessly bullied tramp, a compromised servant, a humiliated cousin and a disaffected tourist. In the central narrative he imagines a new Heart of Darkness for Africa, as a British civil servant and his wife drive back to their compound across an unnamed country: a dangerous journey into an increasingly disturbed and violent land.

The Booker Prize 1971
Published by
André Deutsch
Publication date
V.S. Naipaul

V. S. Naipaul

About the Author

Novelist and travel writer V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad. He studied at Oxford University, then moved to London to work for the BBC.
More about V. S. Naipaul

Other nominated books by V.S. Naipaul

Half a Life
A Bend in the River