The Enigma of Sir Vidia
Although authorized by V. S. Maipaul, Patrick French’s biography nevertheless portrays the Nobel-winning author as cold-blooded and egotistical.
The World Is What It Is:
The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul
by Patrick French
$30.00 List Price
What is the purpose of your writing?” a Muslim friend asks V. S. Naipaul in his 1981 landmark book on the Islamic world, Among the Believers. “Is it to tell people what it’s all about?”
“Yes,” Naipaul replies, “I would say comprehension.”
“Yes. But the nature of the work is also important.”
The nature of the work and its author are the subjects of Patrick French’s extraordinary biography, The World Is What It Is. French calls the huge undertaking “perhaps the last literary biography to be written from a complete paper archive. His notebooks, correspondence, handwritten manuscripts, financial papers, recordings, photographs, press cuttings, and journals . . . ran to more than 50,000 pieces of paper.” French appears to have made use of every scrap.
Certainly the prospect of writing it must
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