Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Naipaul, Vidiadhar Surajprasad. (b. 1932).

L i f e

- born in Trinidad, the English-speaking Caribbean, in a family of Indian descent x but: settled in England

W o r k

- a novelist, short story writer, travel book writer, and author of non-fiction, essays, and criticism

- preoccupied with colonialism x but: uses a wide range of settings, including England, India, Africa, or America

- early period: exploits his starkly satiric vision of the world in comedies of manners focused on the Trinidadian society

- mature period: develops political themes, focuses on the colonial and post-colonial societies in the process of de-colonisation

- later period: exploits the insensitivities and disconnections marring the relations among individuals, races, and nations

- concentrates on an individual’s struggle with cultures and the desperate and destructive conditions of the struggle

> received the Nobel Prize for Literature (2001)

F i c t i o n :

A House for Mr Biswas (1961):

- traces the disintegration of a traditional way of life in the post-colonial world

- follows the declining fortunes of the Indo-Trinidadian protagonist from birth to death

- conclusion: the protagonist marries, finds himself dominated by his new family, and finally sets himself the goal of owning his own house

In a Free State (1971):

- his masterpiece, won him the Booker Prize

- a searching study of what it means to be enslaved x to be free

Guerrillas (1975):

- one of his most complex and most suspenseful novels

- set on an unnamed Third World Caribbean island populated by a mix of ethnicities x but: dominated by the post-colonial British

A Bend in the River (1979):

- set in an unnamed African country after gaining its independence

- the protagonist: an Indian Muslim, brought up during the colonial period

- he feels neither European nor fully African and observes the rapid changes in his homeland with an outsider’s distance

Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1981)

- a non-fictional ‘cultural exploration’ (= study) of Islam

The Enigma of Arrival (1987):

- a personal account of the author's life in England


(Photo: Guardian).

  • Author

    Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul. (b. 1932). British.
  • Work

    Novelist. Short story writer. Non-fiction writer. Nobel Prize Winner (2001). Author of In a Free State (1971).
  • Genres

    Modern fiction. Colonial writing. Non-fiction.


Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.

Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.

Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.

Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


"Naipaul is Conrad’s heir as the annalist of the destinies of empires in the moral sense: what they do to human beings. His authority as a narrator is grounded in his memory of what others have forgotten, the history of the vanquished."

The Swedish Nobel Prize Academy


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