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V. S. Naipaul is perhaps the most famous émigré writer since Vladimir Nabokov, and though he always spoke and wrote English, his self-imposed exile to England from his native Trinidad represented a cultural shift as profound as learning to think in another language. In this moving, novel-like correspondence, we witness the great writer’s early transformation from an expatriate adrift to a world-renowned man of letters.
The letters collected here illuminate with unalloyed candor the relationship between a sacrificing father and his determined son as they encourage each other to persevere with their writing. For though his father’s literary aspirations would go unrealized, Naipaul’s triumphant career would ultimately vindicate his beloved mentor’s legacy.
“For sheer abundance of talent there can hardly be a writer alive who surpasses V. S. Naipaul.” –The New York Times Book Review